Being born very preterm or very low birthweight is associated with continued lower IQ performance into adulthood
The average IQ of adults who were born very preterm (VP) or at a very low birth weight (VLBW) has been compared to adults born full term by researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick. Researchers have found VP/VLBW children may require special support in their education to boost their learning throughout childhood.
People born small for gestational age (SGA) have a lower IQ throughout development, however the differences in IQ to those born appropriate for gestational age (AGA) reduce by adulthood. The effects of SGA on IQ are nearly as large as being born into lower socio-economic status or receiving poor parenting in infancy.
A child’s temperament is affected by the early stages of their life. Researchers from the University of Warwick, the University of Tennessee, University of Southampton and Kings College London have found children who were born very preterm (under 32 weeks gestation) or very low birthweight (under 1500g) had similar temperamental difficulties in controlling their impulses, to children who experienced institutional deprivation.