Background: Very preterm (VPT; <30 weeks gestation) children are a heterogeneous group, yet the co-occurrence of psychiatric and neurodevelopmental impairments remains unclear. Moreover, the clinical and socio-environmental factors that promote resilient developmental outcomes among VPT children are poorly understood. Methods: One hundred and twenty five children (85 VPT and 40 full-term) underwent neurodevelopmental evaluation at age 5-years. Parents and teachers completed measures of internalizing, externalizing, attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD), and autism symptoms. Psychiatric and neurodevelopmental measures were analyzed using Latent Profile Analysis. Multinomial regression examined the extent that infant, sociodemographic, and family factors, collected prospectively from birth to follow-up, independently differentiated resilient and impaired children. Results: Four latent profiles were identified, including a Typically Developing Group which represented 27.1% of the VPT group and 65.0% of the full-term group, an At-Risk Group with mild psychiatric and neurodevelopmental problems (VPT 44.7%, full-term 22.5%), a Psychiatric Group with moderate-to-severe psychiatric ratings (VPT 12.9%, full-term 10.0%), and a school-based Inattentive/Hyperactive Group (VPT 15.3%, full-term 2.5%). Clinical diagnoses were highest among the Psychiatric Group (80%). Factors that differentiated resilient and impaired subgroups of VPT children included prolonged exposure to maternal psychosocial distress (p ≤.04), current family dysfunction (p ≤.05), and maternal ADHD symptoms (p ≤.02), whereas social risk index scores differentiated resilient and impaired full-term children (p <.03). Conclusions: Lower levels of maternal distress, family dysfunction, and maternal ADHD symptoms were associated with resilience among VPT children. Maternal distress and family dysfunction are modifiable factors to be targeted as part of psychiatric interventions embedded in the long-term care of VPT children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Prematurity
  • latent profile analysis
  • neurodevelopment
  • psychiatric impairments


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal and family factors differentiate profiles of psychiatric impairments in very preterm children at age 5-years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this