Objective: 150 sicilian children, aged from 6 to 11 years, who frequented the primary schools were enrolled to evaluate their neuropsychological performances, learning skills and behaviour at school; 88 (58%) of them had been breastfed (group A) and 62 (42%) artificially (group B) in the first year. The breastfed children were, also, evaluated according the duration of suckling (three months, six months, one year). Methods: Socio-familiar characteristics as well pre-peri-postnatal events were obtained by means a parental interview. The parents signed a consent form. Learning skills and behaviour of children were evaluated by standard questionnaire accomplished by the teachers. The following neuropsychological tests were administered: Good-enough, Bender-Santucci, and Raven PM38. Statistical analysis was carried out by Student t-test, Mann-Withney U test and Chi-square test. Results: Socio-familiar and pre-peri-postnatal findings were similar in A and B groups; the neuropsychological tests showed mean-scores within normal limits without statistical differences between the two groups; likewise, the three breastfed soubgroups (according to the suckling duration) had not statistically different scores. Learning skills were similar in both groups; 4 children (6,4%) of the artificially fed group had behavioural alterations: in three of them there was an attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, in one a marked emotional inhibition; no statistical difference was found. Conclusions: Our study indicates that neuropsychological performances and learning skills are similar in both artificially and breastfed infants, when evaluated at the primary schools. As behavioural alterations have not been observed in breastfed children, it could suggest a more favorauble effect of the breast milk on social development.
|Translated title of the contribution||Milk feeding in the first year and mental development in sicilian school children|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Rivista Italiana di Pediatria|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health