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Type: Thesis
Title: Family Functioning and Preterm Child Behaviour: Is Problematic Family Functioning Associated with Preterm Child Behaviour Outcomes?
Author: Pascoe, Claire
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: It is well known that children born preterm are vulnerable and at risk for emotional, behavioural, academic, and developmental problems in comparison to full term peers. Despite behavioural problems being a commonly reported issue in preterm born children, few studies have examined the impact of child behaviour on other outcomes, like family functioning. Accordingly, the current study sought to investigate the behavioural problems of 359 preterm born peers (<29 weeks gestational age) and their association with family functioning in children 5 years of age. The cohort was assessed using the parent-reported Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Family Assessment Device General Functioning Scale (FAD GF-12). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were employed to assess the relationship whilst controlling for potential confounding social risk factors. Results reveal that higher scores on the FAD were related to higher scores on the SDQ and also higher externalising behaviour scores. This study reveals that a problematic family environment is related to poor child behaviour outcomes. The findings from this large follow up study show the potential importance of identifying problematic family functioning and behavioural problems in preterm populations. Furthermore, preterm children and their families should be screened for behavioural difficulties and problematic family functioning characteristics from an early age to allow for intervention in those who are at risk, with the hope that evidence-based interventions can improve outcomes long term.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
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