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Academic Paper


Title: Long-term effects of preterm birth on language and literacy at eight years
Author: Annalisa Guarini
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Alessandra Sansavini
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Cristina Fabbri
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Silvia Savini
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Rosina Alessandroni
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Giacomo Faldella
Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna
Author: Annette Karmiloff-Smith
Institution: University of London
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: The aims of this study were to investigate whether specific linguistic difficulties in preterm children persist at eight years and to examine the interrelationships between language and literacy in this population, compared with a control group of full-term children. Sixty-eight monolingual Italian preterms and 26 chronologically matched controls were recruited. Language (grammar comprehension, lexical production and phonological awareness), literacy (reading comprehension, reading and writing) and general cognitive development were investigated. Results showed no general delay in preterms, but slight difficulties in specific linguistic abilities (grammar, lexicon, phoneme synthesis and deletion of the first syllable), more difficulties in literacy (speed in reading and accuracy in writing) and certain correlations among competencies turning out to be different from the control group. In conclusion, our study established that a partially atypical trajectory emerged in preterms, showing specific long-term effects of preterm birth on language and literacy development.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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