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March 17, 1993

Low-Birth-Weight Infants Born to Adolescent MothersEffects of Coresidency With Grandmother on Child Development

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Ms Pope and Drs Rickert and Casey), and Pediatrics and Psychiatry (Dr Kelleher), University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock; the College of Education, University of Arkansas, Little Rock (Ms Whiteside and Dr Bradley); and Teacher's College, Columbia University, New York, NY (Dr Brooks-Gunn).

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1396-1400. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110064036

Objective.  —To explore the impact of young maternal age, coresidency with infant's grandmother, and other familial and environmental factors on development of low-birth-weight (LBW) infants.

Design.  —Prospective cohort analyses.

Setting.  —Eight medical institutions in different geographical locations participating in the Infant Health and Development Program.

Participants.  —Control population of 272 LBW, preterm infants enrolled in the Infant Health and Development Program born to mothers aged 15 to 24 years.

Main Outcome Measure.  —Child cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes at 36 months' gestation-corrected age.

Results.  —Maternal age was not significantly related to child development. Coresidence with infant's grandmother was associated with improved cognitive and health outcomes. Maternal ethnicity, maternal verbal ability, and other environmental factors were also associated with child outcomes.

Conclusions.  —Findings of this study support the need for programs that include the extended family of at-risk infants, providing education and literacy skills to the mothers and encouraging participation of all care givers of the child.(JAMA. 1993;269:1396-1400)