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1254 Language Development of Prematurely Born Children - Biological Determinants and Syntax
  1. Z Kolundžić1,
  2. M Lenček2,
  3. A Šimić Klarić1
  1. 1General Hospital, Požega
  2. 2Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia


There are numerous findings of the literature about premature born children having a higher degree of risk for different types of communication, language, reading and writing difficulties, compared to children born at term. These problems may seem minor in early language development and they are generally not recognized in that period. As the rule of language grows, particularly through reading and writing abilities, the problems become more evident and recognizable, and can significantly affect the academic achievement of children, especially if they do not provide help and support.

These theoretical findings were the basis for setting the aim of the study: to compare the outcome of prematurely borns in the age of 10 years, with the outcome of children born at term on linguistic tasks, especially in syntactic knowledge. According to this, one of the goals of the study was to investigate the relationship between biological variables (gestational age, birth weight, Apgar score) and linguistic- syntactic knowledge. The characteristics of this relationship were also examined. 34 prematurely born children and 34 children born at term participated.

Results showed statistically significant differences between prematurely born children and children born at term on syntactic knowledge tasks: prematurely borns' performings were significantly poorer. Biological factors were predictive for the level of syntactic knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of systematic monitoring of communication, language and speech development in prematurely born children.

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