Growth, development and behaviour in adolescents born small-for-gestational-age

J Paediatr Child Health. 1995 Oct;31(5):403-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.1995.tb00847.x.


Objective: To examine the effects on adolescents of being born small-for-gestational-age (SGA).

Methodology: The sample are members of a cohort longitudinal study in which growth, cognitive development and behaviour are being studied into adulthood. Ninety-one SGA subjects were available for comparison with the rest of the sample (n = 1037) on measures of height, weight, head circumference, cognitive performance and behavioural variables to the age of 18 years old.

Results: SGA subjects were shorter and lighter at 18 years of age than their appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) counterparts despite age of onset of menarche being the same in both groups. At age 13, SGA subjects scored significantly lower than the AGA group on the WISC-R scales. They were rated by parents as having more behaviour problems at age of 15.

Conclusions: SGA birth appears to be a potential problem which extends beyond childhood in its effects on growth, behaviour and cognitive performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Height
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / growth & development*
  • Infant, Small for Gestational Age / psychology*
  • Intelligence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Social Adjustment