Current Content
Volume 48 - Number 1
January/February 2022

An Exploratory Principal Factor Analysis of Very Low Birth Weight Clinical Data and Development-Behavioral Outcomes at 4 Years of Age
Samia Valeria Ozorio Dutra, Jessica Gordon, Emily Shaffer, Elizabeth Miller, Cedric Harville, II, Ji Youn Yoo, Anujit Sarkar, Ming Ji, Amy D'Agata, and Maureen Groer

This exploratory paper describes associations between neonatal clinical data and behavioral outcomes among infants born with very low birth weight (VLBW) at 4 years of age. Statistical analysis of 24 VLBW infants was conducted using principal factor analysis (PFA). Multiple linear regressions were calculated to explore the relationship between identified risk factors (demographic and clinical data) and behavioral measures: the Battelle Developmental Inventory (2nd ed.) Screening Test (BDI-2 ST) and the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Gestational age was controlled for in the model. Exploratory PFA results indicated that two factors had greater ability to explain observed variations within the sample. The first factor significantly associated high-level neonatal care with aggressive behaviors (β = -0.7477, p < 0.05). The first factor was also predictive of lower personal-social, communication, and cognitive scores. The second factor significantly associated cardiopulmonary complications with pervasive developmental problems (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder) (β = 0.1977, p < 0.05). These results showed that behavioral consequences at 4 years of age were found among children born VLBW due to the severity of illness, the need of high-level care, and cardiopulmonary complications during the neonatal period. These findings suggest VLBW infants experience longer term effects from trauma early in life and warrant further study.