PARENT PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PREMATURE CHILDREN: ASSOCIATIONS WITH COGNITIVE AND MOTOR DEVELOPMENT
Degree awarded: M.A. Psychology. American University
Empirical evidence to date has been contradictory in regards to the relationship gestational age at birth may have with increased levels of parental overprotection (POP) and parental perceptions of child vulnerability (PPCV). The current study evaluated the occurrence of these two parent factors, via questionnaire, within a sample of 77 parent-child dyads in which school age child participants had been born either preterm or full term. There was a significant relationship between preterm birth status and high levels of PPCV with a large effect size (Cohen's d =.820). POP was unrelated to birth status. Children also participated in a cognitive assessment. Results from these tests determined that when PPCV increased child motor performance decreased. PPCV and POP were unrelated to verbal fluency. POP was also unrelated to motor performance. Further research is needed in order to identify the underlying processes that determine the relationship between PPCV and child motor performance.