Anxiety of the 8th month in the preterm child

C. Pisaturo, S. Frasconi, N. Parodi, M. G. Calevo, J. Pisaturo

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Background. Aim of this paper was to verify whether the condition described by Spitz as anxiety of the 8th months occurs earlier in the preterm than in the child born at term. Methods. A prospective study was carried out on 27 subjects subdivided into three groups of 9, 8, 10 patients, respectively, according to gestational age (group I ≤33 weeks; group II ≥34 ≤37 weeks; group III ≥38 ≤41 weeks). The cases were selected at random from the patients admitted to the Neuropsychomotor Unit of the Gaslini Institute of Genoa (Italy), from May 1, 1993 to May 22, 1998. All 27 subjects underwent regular follow-up according to the protocol adopted in the Unit. Results. It was observed that in goup I (very preterm children), this type of anxiety had a much earlier onset with respect to group II (preterm children with higher gestational age) and III (children bom at term), in which time of onset was similar. Conclusions. This observation could be ascribed i) to the peculiar organic and emotional conditions of a very preterm infant, who therefore is more "reactive», and ii) to its in-born ability to react promptly with manifestations of sudden alarm of fear within the frame work of interpersonal contacts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-511
Number of pages13
JournalMinerva Pediatrica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Child behavior disorders
  • Infant, premature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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