Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair(s)

Glendon Casto


Glendon Casto


David Nilsson


It is well documented in the literature that low-birth-weight (LBW) and prematurity are associated with a variety of developmental disabilities. Within this population of LBW children it is estimated that at birth, up to 45% of them experience intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH). Only recently has pediatric research begun to look at the potentially unique effects of IVH, and attempt to separate these out form the effects of LBW in general. The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological differences that may occur in children with a history of mild or sever IVH, who are now approaching school age. The main objective was to determine whether children, ages 4 and 5, who were diagnosed with a mild IVH at birth would perform differently on a neuropsychological screening from children who were diagnosed with a severe IVH.

Twenty-nine 4- and 5-year-olds born at the University of Utah Medical Center and Primary Children's Medical Center constituted the sample for this study. Potential children were identified through the medical records, where documentation of incident and severity of IVH was obtained. Descriptive medical data and documentation of other common sequelae of LBW was also obtained from the medical records. Parents of potential subjects were contacted from the respective medical centers, and interested parents were then contacted by the research team and included in the study.

The children were tested on a variety of neuropsychological functions by trained examiners from the Early Intervention Research Institute at Utah State University and from the Neuropsychological Consultation Services in Salt Lake City, Utah. Analysis of this data was used in determining whether or not there were residual differences in the performance of preschool-age children who have a history of IVH at birth.

The results did not indicate significant difference between mild and severe IVH groups in performance on the neuropsychological assessment. Discriminant analysis showed no significant results which did not indicate that group membership could be predicted based upon test performance. Individual subtest analyses also did not indicate a significant difference in performance. Further analysis indicated significant relationships between the presence of other common sequelae of LBW/IVH such as seizure disorder and birth asphyxia, and the neuropsychological test results. Further research is needed to determine the reliability of these findings.



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