School readiness of moderately preterm children at preschool age

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The study investigates the preschool readiness of moderately preterm children and, in particular, the likely presence of learning disabilities at preschool age. Its theoretical model detects linguistic comprehension and expression; memory-related metacognition and cognition skills; orientation and motor coordination skills; premathematics and preliteracy ones. The research project involved an experimental group made up of 55 moderately preterm children (mean age = 62 months, mean gestational age = 34.6 weeks), without any clinical neonatal complications, and low birth weight (M = 2,100 g, SD = 350 g); a control group made up of 55 full-term children without pre- and perinatal complications. The children’s primary school reference teachers were given a questionnaire (Observative Questionnaire for Early Identification of Learning Disabilities), which was aimed at identifying any likely social and cognitive skill deficits at preschool age. The data, submitted to nonparametric univariate variance, show how scores of moderately preterm children in the metacognition [U (n1 e n2 = 55) = 35, p = 0.04, r = 0.49] are statistically lower, other cognitive skills (memory, orientation, and visual–motor coordination) [U (n1 e n2 = 55) = 32, p = 0.02, r = 0.45], premathematics [U (n1 e n2 = 55) = 32, p = 0.02, r = 0.44], and the total score [U (n1 e n2 = 55) = 31, p = 0.02, r = 0.12]. Such data would seem to suggest the need for hypothesizing preventive training and educational paths as a prerequisite for the development of the school abilities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1343
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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