Subscribe: Journal of Pediatric Psychology - Advance Access
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Journal of Pediatric Psychology Advance Access

Published: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:48:53 GMT


Effects of Neonatal Pain and Temperament on Attention Problems in Toddlers Born Preterm


To examine the effects of individual characteristics of neonates and neonatal pain-related stress on attention problems and externalizing behavior problems of toddlers born preterm, analyzing the moderating effects of the dispositional traits of temperament.
The sample included 62 toddlers aged 18–36 months and their mothers. The mothers were interviewed using the Child Behavior Checklist 1.5–5 for toddlers’ attention and externalizing behavior problems assessment, the Early Childhood Behavior Questionnaire for toddlers’ temperament assessment, and the Adult Temperament Questionnaire for their temperament assessment. The Neonatal Infant Stressor Scale analyzed the number of pain-related stress events during neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) hospitalization recorded in the medical charts. Statistical descriptive, correlation, and multiple linear regression analyses were performed.
High neonatal pain-related stress total index, associated with toddler’s temperament with less Effortful Control, and mother’s temperament with high Surgency explained 23% variability of the attention problems. Otherwise, the externalizing behavior problems were explained by temperament, but not by neonatal pain-related stress.
The findings support the impact of neonatal pain experiences, and current toddlers’ and mothers’ temperament characterized by poorer self-regulation on attention problems in toddlers born preterm. Developmental care in the NICU and follow-up programs after discharge are recommended to promote regulated temperament of the mother–child dyads, aiming to prevent attentional problems in toddlers born preterm.

Cognitive Function, Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in Children and Adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease


The objective of this study was to investigate the association between cognitive functioning, coping, and depressive symptoms in children and adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD).
Forty-four children (M age = 9.30, SD = 3.08; 56.8% male) with SCD completed cognitive assessments measuring working memory (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fourth Edition) and verbal comprehension (Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-Second Edition). Participants’ primary caregivers completed questionnaires assessing their child’s coping and depressive symptoms.
Verbal comprehension was significantly positively associated with secondary control coping (cognitive reappraisal, acceptance, distraction), and both working memory and secondary control coping were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. In partial support of the primary study hypothesis, verbal comprehension had an indirect association with depressive symptoms through secondary control coping, whereas working memory had a direct association with depressive symptoms.
The results provide new evidence for the associations between cognitive function and coping, and the association of both of these processes with depressive symptoms in children with SCD. Findings provide potential implications for clinical practice, including interventions to improve children’s cognitive functioning to attenuate depressive symptoms.