Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The social competence of very-low-birthweight children: Teacher, peer, and self-perceptions

Abstract

Whether very-low birthweight (VLBW ≤1500 gm) children differ from normal birthweight (NBW > 2500gm) children with respect to social (as opposed to intellectual) competence has been a relatively neglected issue. The social competence at school age of 183 VLBW children was therefore compared with that of 183 NBW children born at the same hospital matched for age, gender, social class, parity, and maternal age. A multi-informant, multidefinilional approach to social competence was adopted involving teacher, (same-gender) peer, and self-ratings of the 366 children's levels of social maladjustment, social skill, and peer acceptance. VLBW children from the upper, middle, and lower social classes received significantly higher mean sadness/unhappiness scores (even with IQ covaried) than their NEW counterparts. Mean scores for the VLBW group were also higher for social withdrawal, and lower for both social skill and peer acceptance. Possible antecedents and consequences of such group differences in affect and sociability are suggested.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Als, H. (1989). Continuity and consequences of behavior in preterm infants. In C. von Euler, H. Forssberg, & H. Lagercrantz (Eds.),Neurobiology of early infant behaviour (pp. 87–106). New York: Stockton Press.

  2. Achenbach, T. M., McConaughy, S. H., & Howell, C. T. (1987). Child/adolescent behavioral and emotional problems: Implications of cross-informant correlations for situational specificity.Psychological Bulletin, 101, 213–232.

  3. Altmann, E. O., & Gotlib, I. H. (1988). The social behavior of depressed children: An observational study.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 16, 29–44.

  4. Bakeman, R., & Brown, J. V. (1980). Early interaction: Consequences for social and mental development at three years.Child Development, 51, 437–447.

  5. Benton, A. L. (1940). Mental development of prematurely born children.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 10, 719–746.

  6. Bjerre, I., & Hansen, E. (1976). Psychomotor development and school-adjustment of 7-year-old children with low birthweight.Acta Paediatrica Scandinavica, 65, 88–96.

  7. Caspi, A., Elder, G. H., & Bem, D. J. (1988). Moving away from the world: Life-course patterns of shy children.Developmental Psychology, 24, 824–831.

  8. Conaway, L. P., & Hansen, D. J. (1989). Social behavior of physically abused and neglected children: A critical review.Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 627–652.

  9. Cowen, E. L., Pederson, A., Babigian, H., Izzo, L. D., & Trost, M. A. (1973). Long-term follow-up of early detected vulnerable children.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 41, 438–446.

  10. Crnic, K. A., Ragozin, A. S., Greenberg, M. T., Robinson, N. M., & Basham, R. B. (1983). Social interaction and developmental competence of preterm and full-term infants during the first year of life.Child Development, 54, 1199–1210.

  11. Cunningham, C. E., & Siegel, L. S. (1987). Peer interactions of normal and attention-deficit-disordered boys during free-play, cooperative task, and simulated classroom situations.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 15, 247–268.

  12. DiVitto, B., & Goldberg, S. (1979). The effects of newborn medical status on early parent-infant interaction. In T. M. Field, A. M. Sostek, S., Goldberg, & H. H. Shuman (Eds.),Infants bom at risk (pp. 311–332). New York: Spectrum Books.

  13. Dodge, K. A. (1986). A social information-processing model of social competence in children. In M. Perlmutter (Ed.),Minnesota Symposia on Child Psychology (Vol. 18, pp. 77–125). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  14. Easterbrooks, M. A. (1989). Quality of attachment to mother and father: Effects of perinatal risk status.Child Development, 60, 825–830.

  15. Edelbrock, C., & Achenbach, T. M. (1984). The teacher version of the Child Behavior Profile: I. Boys aged 6–11.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 5, 207–217.

  16. Edelbrock, C. Greenbaum, R., & Conover, N. C. (1985). Reliability and concurrent relations between the Teacher Version of the Child Behavior Profile and the Conners Revised Teacher Rating Scale.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 295–304.

  17. Elliott, C. D. (1983).British Ability Scales. Windsor, Berkshire, England; NFER-Nelson.

  18. Garvey, C. (1974). Some properties of social play.Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 20, 163–180.

  19. Goldberg, S., Brackfeld, S., & Di Vitto, B. (1980). Feeding, fussing, and play: Parent-infant interaction in the first year as a function of prematurity and perinatal medical problems. In T. M. Field, S. Goldberg, D. Stern, & A. M. Sostek (Eds.),High risk infants and children: Adult and peer interactions, (pp. 133–153). New York: Academic Press.

  20. Goldberg, S., Perrotta, M., Minde, K., & Corter, C. (1986). Maternal behavior and attachment in low-birthweight twins and singletons.Child Development, 57, 34–46.

  21. Greenberg, M. T., & Crnic, K. A. (1988). Longitudinal predictors of developmental status and social interaction in premature and full-term infants at age two.Child Development, 59, 544–570.

  22. Greenspan, S. (1981). Social competence and handicapped individuals: Practical implications of a proposed model.Advances in Special Education, 3, 41–82.

  23. Halliday, H. L., McClure, G., & Reid, M. (Eds.). (1989).Handbook of neonatal intensive care (3rd ed.). London: Bailliere Tindall.

  24. Harter, S., & Pike, R. (1984). The Pictorial Scale of Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance for Young Children.Child Development, 55, 1969–1982.

  25. Hartup, W. W. (1978). Children and their friends. In H. McGurk (Ed.),Issues in childhood social development (pp. 130–170). London: Methuen.

  26. Howard, P. J., & Worrell, C. H. (1952). Premature infants in later life: Study of intelligence and personality of 22 premature infants at ages 8 to 19 years.Pediatrics, 9, 577–584.

  27. Hoy, E. A., Bill, J. M., & Sykes, D. H. (1988). Very low birthweight: A long-term developmental impairment?International Journal of Behavioral Development, 11, 37–67.

  28. Hoy, E. A., Bill, J. M., & Sykes, D. H. (1991).The Selective Classmate Evaluation Procedure (SCEP): A group peer-assessment technique for the young school child. Manuscript submitted for publication.

  29. Huberty, C. J., & Morris, J. D. (1989). Multivariate analysis versus multiple univariate analyses.Psychological Bulletin, 105, 302–308.

  30. Jacob, S., Benedict, H. E., Roach, J., & Blackledge, G. L. (1984). Cognitive, perceptual, and personal-social development of prematurely born preschoolers.Perceptual and Motor Skills, 58, 551–562.

  31. Kandel, D. B., & Davis, M. (1986). Adult sequelae of adolescent depressive symptoms.Archives of General Psychiatry, 43, 255–262.

  32. Kopp, C. B. (1983). Risk factors in development, In M. M. Haith & J. J. Campos (Eds.),Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 2. Infancy and developmental psychobiology (pp. 1081–1188). New York: Wiley.

  33. Kovacs, M., & Beck, A. T. (1977). An empirical-clinical approach toward a definition of childhood depression. In J. G. Schulterbrandt & A. Raskin (Eds.),Depression in children: Diagnosis, treatment and conceptual models (pp. 1–25). New York: Raven.

  34. Ledingham, J. E. (1981). Developmental patterns of aggressive and withdrawn behavior in childhood: A possible method for identifying preschizophrenics.Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 9, 1–22.

  35. Malatesta, C. Z., Grigoryev, P., Lamb, C., Albin, M., & Culver, C. (1986). Emotion socialization and expressive development in preterm and full-term infants.Child Development, 57, 316–330.

  36. Matson, J. L., Rotatori, A. F., & Helsel, W. J. (1983). Development of a rating scale to measure social skills in children: The Matson Evaluation of Social Skills with Youngsters (MESSY).Behavior Research and Therapy, 21, 335–340.

  37. Michelson, L., Sugai, D., Wood, R., & Kazdin, A. (1983).Social skills assessment and training with children: An empirically-based handbook. New York: Plenum Press.

  38. Moskowitz, D. S., Schwartzman, A. E., & Ledingham, J. E. (1985). Stability and change in aggression and withdrawal in middle childhood and early adolescence.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 30–41.

  39. Mueller, E., & Lucas, T. A. (1975). Developmental analysis of peer interaction among toddlers, in M. Lewis & L. Rosenblum (Eds.),Friendship and peer relations (pp. 223–258). New York: Wiley.

  40. Parker, J. G., & Asher, S. R. (1987). Peer relations and later personal adjustment: Are lowaccepted children at risk?Psychological Bulletin, 102, 357–389.

  41. Registrar General (1980).Classification of Occupations. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

  42. Siegel, L. (1983). Correction for prematurity and its consequences for the assessment of the very-low-birthweight infant.Child Development, 54, 1176–1188.

  43. Sigman, M., & Parmelee, A. H. (1979). Longitudinal evaluation of the preterm infant. In T. M. Field, A. M. Sostek, S. Goldberg, & H. H. Sherman (Eds.),Infants bom at risk (pp. 193–217). New York: Spectrum Books.

  44. Winer, B. (1962).Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  45. Youniss, J. (1980).Parents and peers in social development: A Piaget-Sullivan perspective. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Hoy.

Additional information

This study was supported by grants from the Department of Health and Social Services, the Chest, Heart and Stroke Association, the Perinatal Trust Fund (all of Northern Ireland), and the Medical Research Council (U.K.) for the investigation of “The cognitive, social, and behavioral adjustment of very-low-birthweight infants at school age.” The resources provided by the Northern Ireland Department of Economic Development ACE scheme arc also gratefully acknowledged. The authors wish to thank all 15 research assistants on the Very Low-Birthweight (VLBW) Team, and especially those parents, children, and school personnel who participated so willingly in the NI VLBW project.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hoy, E.A., Sykes, D.H., Bill, J.M. et al. The social competence of very-low-birthweight children: Teacher, peer, and self-perceptions. J Abnorm Child Psychol 20, 123–150 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00916545

Download citation

Keywords

  • Social Skill
  • Social Class
  • Social Competence
  • Social Withdrawal
  • Lower Social Classis