Are former late-preterm children at risk for child vulnerability and overprotection?

Haifa A. Samra, Jacqueline M. McGrath, Howard Wey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Parent perception of child vulnerability (PPCV) and parent overprotection (POP) are believed to have serious implications for age appropriate cognitive and psychosocial development in very low birth weight preterm children. Aim: With recent concerns about suboptimal developmental outcomes in late-preterm children, this study was aimed at examining the relationship between history of late-preterm birth (34-36 6/7. weeks gestation), and PPCV, POP, and healthcare utilization (HCU). Study design: This was a cross-sectional observational design. Participants: Study participants were mothers of 54 healthy singleton children recruited from community centers including Women and Children Clinics (WIC), primary care clinics and daycare centers in the upper Midwest region. Outcome measures: Outcome measures included Forsyth Child Vulnerability Scale (CVS), Thomasgard Parent Protection Scale (PPS) scores, and healthcare utilization (HCU). Potential covariates included history of life-threatening illness, child and maternal demographics, and maternal stress and depression using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD). Results: HCU (p=0.02) and the PPS subscales of supervision (p=0.003) and separation (p=0.03) were significant predictors of PPCV in mothers of 3-8years old children with late-preterm history. Age of the child (p=0.008) and CVS scores (p=0.005) were significant predictors of POP. Maternal age (p=0.04), stress (p=0.04), and CVS scores (p=0.003) were significant predictors of HCU. Dependence, a subscale of the PPS, correlated with the child's age and gender even after controlling for age. Conclusion: History of late-preterm did not predict MPCV, MOP, or HCU in healthy children. Future research is needed in larger more diverse samples to better understand causal relationships and develop strategies to lessen risks of MPCV and MOP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-562
Number of pages6
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Healthcare
  • Late-preterm maternal
  • Utilization
  • Vulnerability scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Are former late-preterm children at risk for child vulnerability and overprotection?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this