The objectives of the study were (1) to assess prevalence of social withdrawal behaviour in infants aged 12 months included in the French Perinatal Risk Factor Study Eden; (2) To study the correlation between relational withdrawal and several perinatal and parental factors assessed in the EDEN study. A longitudinal study using the ADBB scale was conducted within the Eden Cohort in the year 2008. 1,586 infants were included in the study. Fourteen percent of the children who had an ADBB assessment had a score at 5 and over on the ADBB, a scale designed to assess social withdrawal behaviour at age 0-24 months. Social withdrawal at 12 months was associated with low birth weight, low gestational age and with intra uterine growth retardation. Social withdrawal was independently associated with several maternal and paternal risk factors. The level of social withdrawal behaviour increased with a score of maternal difficulties. This study on a large longitudinally followed volunteer sample demonstrate a clear association of social withdrawal behaviour at age one with low birth weight and preterm birth, possibly mediated by parental vulnerabilities. Social withdrawal behaviour seems to be an important alarm signal to detect early on particularly in premature and small for date babies.
© Springer-Verlag 2012