Does preterm birth affect child temperament? A meta-analytic study

Rafaela G.M. Cassiano, Livio Provenzi, Maria Beatriz Martins Linhares, Claudia M. Gaspardo, Rosario Montirosso

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The present meta-analytic study was conducted to examine differences in temperament between preterm and full-term children, considering behavior style and psychobiological approaches. Moreover, we explored the potential moderators of the associations between prematurity and temperament. A systematic literature search was performed on PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and CINAHL. Twenty-two studies were analyzed. Preterm children showed a higher Activity level as well as lower Attentional Focusing and Attention Span/Persistence, in comparison with their full-term counterparts. Extremely preterm children showed a higher Activity level than other preterm levels. These findings support the conclusion that preterm children present with a less regulated temperament relative to those born full term.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101417
Number of pages11
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Meta-analysis
  • Prematurity
  • Temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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