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Title: A life course study of infant developmental delay : associations with pre- and perinatal factors, social mobility and socioeconomic position in adulthood
Author: Pillas, Demetris
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
Background: Infancy is one of the most critical periods of human development, yet developmental delay during this period is a condition largely undiagnosed and uncared for. In addition, the life course importance of infant development to adult socio-economic position has yet to be examined. Aims and objectives: To perform a life course study of infant developmental delay to: further the understanding of the pre- and perinatal factors which influence it (Objective I), evaluate the potential of utilising available information during the pre- and perinatal period to improve identification of infant developmental delay (Objective 11), and evaluate the links between infant developmental delay and socio-economic position in adulthood (Objective Ill) and social mobility (Objective IV). Methods: The study used data from the 1966 Northern Finland Birth Cohort (NFBC1966) (n=12,231 children). Delay was assessed through measures of infant motor and language development. Findings relevant to Objectives I and 11 were validated in a second, UK- based, birth cohort - the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). Results: i) 27 pre- and perinatal factors were available, of which 8 were significantly associated with motor or language delay, ii) The identified factors were significant predictors of delay in both cohorts, particularly in high-risk newborns, iii) Infant developmental delay was associated with indicators of socio-economic position in adulthood, iv) Developmentally delayed infants were more likely to be downward socially mobile and less likely to be upward socially mobile throughout the life course than non- delayed infants. Conclusions: Information on a limited number of pre- and perinatal factors may facilitate identification of developmental delay in high-risk newborns. Infant developmental delay is associated with indicators of socio-economic position in adulthood, highlighting the importance of early life development to human capital formation. Part of the socio- economic inequality observed throughout the life course can be traced back to infancy, where delayed development can set individuals on disadvantageous socio-economic trajectories.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.577460  DOI: Not available
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