Neurodevelopmental outcome of infants diagnosed with IUGR: A two and a half year follow-up

Michelle Bacon Moore, Pace University


Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) was recognized as an important diagnosis during the 1950s. Infants born full-term with a birth weight less than 2,500 grams, as well as infants born preterm with weight/height below the 10th percentile for gestational age, are diagnosed with IUGR (Forbes & Smalls, 1983; Goldenberg et al., 1989). The current study examined if there was a common, neurodevelopmental trajectory among infants diagnosed with IUGR when compared to typically developing infants over two and a half years. Since previous research conducted on infants with IUGR has been contradictory, the current study intended to help clarify the developmental trajectory of infants with IUGR. Researchers have found that children with IUGR continued to display significantly lower performance on motor subtests, especially with their coordination and graphomotor skills as they reached Kindergarten (Goyen, Veddovi and Lui, 2003; Leitner et al., 2000). Results from the current study found that infants with IUGR who were assessed on gross and fine motor subscales performed consistently in the Average range at all three of their follow-up visits. The current study also found that infants with an atypically small head circumference at approximately 4 months of age performed significantly lower on gross motor and expressive language subscales compared to typically developing infants. In addition, typically developing infants were more likely to have a normal neurological exam than infants with an atypical head circumference at 4 months of age. These findings are important since past research has shown that infants with IUGR whose head circumference was below average were more likely to experience cognitive delays then their normally developing counterparts who had an average head growth (Frisk, Amsel & Whyte, 2002; Robertson, Etches & Kyle, 1989; Strauss & Dietz, 1998). The findings from the current study were limited due to small sample size, high attrition rates of participants and high rates of co-morbidity of IUGR with secondary medical diagnoses. One important implication from this study to the field of school-clinical child psychology is that psychologists should be able to identify infants who are at-risk for developmental delay in order to provide parent education and plan appropriate interventions.

Subject Area

Neurosciences|Developmental psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Moore, Michelle Bacon, "Neurodevelopmental outcome of infants diagnosed with IUGR: A two and a half year follow-up" (2009). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3376928.



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