Children born preterm and very low birth weight are more prone to having behavior problems and poor regulation in temperament compared to children born full term. It is important to advance the understanding of the impact of longitudinal neonatal risks experienced by preterm infants, associated with infant temperament, in their behavior, considering sample of high biological and social risk. This study aims to examine the predictive effect of neonatal and sociodemographic characteristics and temperament and behavior, evaluated during 18-36 months of age, the outcome of the behavior of children born preterm in preschool. The longitudinal study design includes three stages: neonatal, 18 to 36 months of age and pre-school (4-5 years). The sample will be composed of 100 children born preterm (<37 weeks gestational age) and very low birth weight (<1,500 grams). Data will be collected in a public teaching hospital. The following instruments will be applied: the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire (assessment of temperament), the Child Behavior Checklist 1 ½ -5 (behavior problems), Clinical Risk Index for Babies (CRIB) and the Neonatal Infant Stressor Scale (stress neonatal index). In addition, informations about the children´s health status will be collected in the medical records and the socioeconomic status of families will be caracterized. The data will be analyzed by statistical descriptive analysis and predictive analysis (linear multiple regression analysis). The predicted variable in this study will be the behavioral problems assessed at preschool age. The predictor variables are the following: neonatal variables (birth weight, gestational age, neonatal clinical risk index, stress index and length stay in the hospital), sociodemographic variables (maternal education, education of household head, and socioeconomic status) and variables of temperament and behavior, evaluated at 18-36 months of age. The data will be processed using SPSS, version 19.0 (Chicago, IL, USA) and the level of significance established in the study will be p d 0.05. The results will be organized and discussed according to the current literature of the area.
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