BACKGROUND: Behavior and socioemotional development are crucial aspects of child development.
METHODS: A total of 2505 children born at
RESULTS: Thirty-five percent (873) of children had behavioral problems, and 26% (637) displayed deficits in socioemotional competence. Male sex, public insurance, mothers with less than a high school education, and lower maternal age were associated with behavioral problems. Deficits in competence were associated with lower birth weight, public insurance, mothers with less than a high school education, and abnormal neuromotor exam. Bayley-III language and cognitive scores were significant mediators of the relationships between risk factors and both behavioral and competence scores (P <.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Extremely premature children are at risk for behavioral problems and deficits in socioemotional competence. Sociodemographic factors were associated with both socioemotional competence and behavioral problems. Deficits in socioemotional competence were also associated with neuromotor abnormalities and cognitive and language function.