Introduction The UK continues to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Western Europe. Teenage pregnancy is associated with poor child development, which can affect mother and child welfare. The Building Blocks trial (BBT) concludes that the Family Nurse Partnership Programme (FNP) promotes cognitive and language development more effectively than usual care alone in children born to teenage mothers, at 2 years.
Aim We aimed to identify further factors associated with cognitive and language developmental delay in children born to teenage mothers, at 2 years.
Methods Data were obtained from the BBT, which evaluated the effectiveness of the FNP in England. The trial recruited 1645 nulliparous women aged £19 years and collected data at baseline, late pregnancy, birth, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. At 24 months cognitive development was assessed via the Schedule of Growing Skills and language development via the Early Language Milestone Scale. Logistic and linear regression was performed for cognitive and language development respectively.
Results From a cohort of 1510 babies, 1091 and 895 babies were assessed for cognitive and language development at 24 months, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that variables significantly associated with cognitive developmental delay were: usual care rather than the intervention (FNP and usual care) (OR=1.76; 95% CI=1.17 – 2.64; p=0.006), maternal difficulty with basic skills (reading, writing or maths) (OR=1.68; 95% CI=1.10 – 2.57; p=0.017) and low birth weight (OR=2.93; 95% CI=1.67 – 5.14; p=<0.001).
Receiving usual care instead of the intervention (p=0.008), maternal difficulty with basic skills (p=0.005) and preterm delivery (p=0.002) had negative implications on language development. A mother living with at least one parent as opposed to living alone, positively impacted language development (p=0.033).
Conclusion Results suggest that perinatal and socioeconomic factors such as low birth weight, preterm delivery, maternal difficulty with basic skills, receiving usual care instead of FNP and living at home with at least one parent, can significantly affect the development of children born to teenage mothers.
This is an independent report commissioned and funded by the Policy Research Programme in the Department of Health (Reference: 006/0060). The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Department.
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