Influence of type of birth on child development: a comparison by Bayley- III Scale

  • Ana Paula Magosso Cavaggioni Doutoranda pela Universidade Metodista de São Paulo – Programa de Pós- graduação em Psicologia da Saúde – São Bernardo do Campo - SP
  • Maria do Carmo Fernandes Martins Profa. Dra. Programa de Pós-graduação em Psicologia da Saúde da Universidade Metodista de São Paulo – São Bernardo do Campo/SP
  • Miria Benincasa Profa. Dra. Programa de Pós-graduação em Psicologia da Saúde da Universidade Metodista de São Paulo – São Bernardo do Campo/SP
Keywords: Child development, Cesarean section, Normal birth, Bayley-III, Prematurity


Introduction: Elective cesarean section is associated with several damages to the newborn's health, such as respiratory and gastrointestinal problems and diabetes that  last throughout life. However, few studies discuss aspects related to psychological development.

Objective: To investigate the development of Brazilian children according to the type of birth and gestational age in the cognitive, language, motor, socio-emotional and adaptive behavior domains.

Methods: This is an exploratory and descriptive cross-sectional study conducted in the city of São Bernardo de Campo, São Paulo, Brazil, between June 2016 and March 2017. The final sample consisted of 263 children up to 42 months of age. For data collection were applied a socio demographic questionnaire and the Bayley-III Scale. The statistical analysis was  based on  both a  North American reference sample  and a local  sample using   the SPSS version 21, through  Pearson's Chi-square statistical test and  significance criteria p <0.05.

Results: A significant difference (p<0.005) was observed, with a higher risk of problems in fine motor development and expressive language in children born at pre-term between 37- 39 weeks compared to those born at term between  39 - 41 weeks. Significant difference (p<0.005) was also observed in sensory processing and adaptive behavior, with greater impairment  in children born via elective cesarean section compared to those born vaginally.

Conclusion: Despite its limitations and discrepancies, this research indicates potential impairments in the psychological development of children born at early term via elective cesarean.


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