Maternal educational status at birth, maternal educational advancement, and neurocognitive outcomes at age 10 years among children born extremely preterm

Pediatr Res. 2018 Apr;83(4):767-777. doi: 10.1038/pr.2017.267. Epub 2017 Nov 22.


BackgroundTo determine if a key marker of socioeconomic status, maternal education, is associated with later neurocognitive and academic outcomes among children born extremely preterm (EP).MethodEight hundred and seventy-three children born at 23 to 27 weeks of gestation were assessed for cognitive and academic ability at age 10 years. With adjustments for gestational age (GA) and potential confounders, outcomes of children whose mothers had fewer years of education at the time of delivery and children whose mother advanced in education between birth and 10 years were examined.ResultsChildren of mothers in the lowest education stratum at birth were significantly more likely to score ≥2 SDs below normative expectation on 17 of 18 tests administered. Children of mothers who advanced in education (n=199) were at reduced risk for scoring ≥2 SDs on 15 of 18 measures, but this reduction was statistically significant on only 2 of 18 measures.ConclusionAmong EP children, socioeconomic disadvantage at birth, indexed by maternal education, is associated with significantly poorer neurocognitive and academic outcomes at 10 years of age, independently of GA. Maternal educational advancement during the child's first 10 years of life is associated with modestly improved neurocognitive outcomes.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Academic Success*
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Language
  • Male
  • Medicaid
  • Mothers*
  • Motor Skills
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / diagnosis
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / epidemiology
  • Premature Birth
  • Prospective Studies
  • Social Class*
  • United States
  • Visual Perception
  • Young Adult