Teenagers born at extremely low birth weight

Michael F Whitfield, Ruth E Grunau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Adolescence constitutes a major transition for extremely low birth weight (ELBW) teenagers. Recent studies of ELBW teenagers born in the 1980s have provided information about the growth and developmental characteristics of these individuals in adolescence and in early adulthood. ELBW teenagers are shorter and lighter than their full-term peers, and have a smaller head circumference. Cognitive and academic vulnerabilities documented during the school years, particularly difficulties with nonverbal intelligence and arithmetic, persist into late adolescence. Many ELBW children struggle in school and have lower academic achievement levels. The self-concept of ELBW teenagers is generally similar to that of their full-term peers, but their parents perceive them to be more vulnerable over a wide range of behavioural and psychosocial dimensions, particularly depression and attention. ELBW teenagers perceive themselves as needing more assistance in job seeking than do their peers. Physical activity levels and fitness in late adolescence are significantly lower in ELBW teenagers than in their full-term peers, constituting a potential additional health hazard in later life. The outcomes of ELBW teenagers are significantly influenced by socioeconomic, family and parenting factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-7
Number of pages3
JournalPaediatrics & child health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Teenagers born at extremely low birth weight'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this