This study uses data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation (N = 267) to test whether birth weight and gestational age prospectively predict cognitive functioning and social competence throughout childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Using multiple developmentally appropriate indicators of cognitive and social functioning, structural model comparisons test whether Enduring Effects or Revisionist Effects models of development better explain the associations between birth weight/gestational age and cognitive/social functioning. Of the four comparisons (birth weight predicting cognitive functioning, gestational age predicting cognitive functioning, birth weight predicting social competence, gestational age predicting social competence), only birth weight and cognitive functioning were consistently associated across development. The Revisionist Effects model best explained these relations, such that direct associations did not persist over time. Instead, birth weight had direct associations with cognitive functioning in early childhood that were carried forward through stability in cognitive outcomes through early adulthood. These findings are discussed in context of other tests of the Enduring Effects vs. Revisionist Effects models, developmental theory, and intervention application.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2018. Major: Psychology. Advisors: Jeffry Simpson, Mark Snyder. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 156 pages.
Associations between birth weight/gestational age and social/cognitive functioning across development: Do differences endure?.
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