Study finds premature babies make fewer friends

Premature babies

by Eden-Olivia Lord |

It's been reported that babies who are born premature make fewer friends than full term children

Shocking research has revealed that premature babies are less accepted and make fewer friends than kids who are born full term.

According to the University of Warwick during early childhood premature babies make less friends and spend less time socialising with other kids.

During the study that analysed over 1000 children it found that children who were before 32 weeks had - on average - four friends. Whereas full term kids who were born between 37 and 41 weeks would have five friends by the time they're six-years-old.

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The parents of the children born premature also admitted that their little ones were less accepted by their friends. However, by the time all the children reached eight-years-old the premature born babies manage to catch up with the other children and they all reportedly have around six friends each.

Unfortunately it came to light during the research that even though premature babies have more friends by the time they're eight, they see their friends 15% less often that the other kids who were born full term.

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The study also discovered that children who had poorer motor abilities, poorer cognitive abilities and more emotional problems had fewer friends and were less well accepted by them.

And boys, children from bigger families, kids who have a poor relationship with their parents during infancy and children with cognitive, motor or behaviour problems meet their friends and are accepted by them less.

Professor Wolke, who undertook the study, has advised: "Entering school increases social networks and should be a consideration when contemplating delaying school entry for preterm children.

"Although most preterm children catch up with their full term peers during early elementary school, future interventions to improve friendships and social interaction skills should start before school entry to prevent later psychopathology and behaviour problems."

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