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The line of research on Preterm children focuses on the study of psychological development in children born prematurely (gestational age less than 37 weeks), with special attention to aspects related to language development and other aspects of development (executive functions, cognition, reading ability, etc.). This longitudinal study began in 2008 with a sample of premature children who were evaluated in successive follow-ups over 9 years.

Main objective

To assess psychological and language development in preterm children and to analyse the relationships between different developmental variables, as well as potential predictors of developmental outcomes.

Specific objectives of the current project

  • To describe and compare performance in reading and writing processes in a group of preterm children with different gestational ages and another group of term children.
  • To relate the profile of reading and writing skills in both groups and their possible individual differences to other skills such as oral language, cognitive development, and executive functions.
  • To analyse the impact of gestational age, some biomedical risk factors associated with prematurity, socio-demographic variables, literacy competence and previous linguistic and cognitive trajectories on school performance in preterm children.

Initial sample

The initial sample was composed of 150 low-risk preterm children, as well as a sample of 49 term children.


The information gathering process was carried out by trained research staff. The information was provided through different tests applied to the parents of the participants, such as questionnaires, interviews and inventories, and standardised tests applied to the children.