The Impact of Premature Birth on Personality Development

The effects of premature birth on personality development have been the subject of much research in recent years. Studies have shown that babies born very prematurely or with a low birth weight are at an increased risk of developing certain personality traits in adulthood. From a biological perspective, premature birth may expose babies to a potentially traumatic environment in a neonatal intensive care unit, which is very different from the nurturing and calming experience of babies born at term. In addition, premature babies may be exposed to certain treatments, such as corticosteroids, which can alter their metabolic and hormonal development, making them more sensitive to stress and anxiety.

Furthermore, parents of premature babies may tend to overprotect their children throughout childhood, contributing to children tending to avoid risks and worry more.New research indicates that adults who are born very prematurely are more likely to be socially withdrawn and show signs of autism. All were part of the Bavarian Longitudinal Study, which has been tracking the health and well-being of babies born between 1985 and 1986 in southern Bavaria (Germany). The study found that people born very prematurely or underweight scored significantly higher on personality traits of introversion and neuroticism. Their findings suggest that people who are born prematurely or underweight are more likely to have difficulties in their careers and relationships.In an article published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, a group of researchers investigated a possible relationship between babies who were born very prematurely or with a weight much lower than average and different personality traits.

The results showed that adults born very prematurely scored high for showing a socially withdrawn personality, indicated by autistic traits, neuroticism, introversion and lower risk-taking. This may be associated with an increased risk of psychiatric problems. In total, preterm births accounted for about 11% of personality assessment.That's just a fraction of the different experiences that make up personality, but it's possible that premature birth predisposes children to develop certain traits for several different reasons. Very premature adults with very low birth weight who have a socially withdrawn personality may have difficulty maintaining social relationships with their peers, friends, and partners.

In addition, parents of premature babies are more likely to worry about them, giving them a more anxious upbringing.While personality cannot be attributed to a particular experience or event, scientists suggest that prematurity should be further investigated as a potentially important aspect of personality development. Their results were not gender-specific, nor were they related to income or education, and were compared with those of a control group of adults who were born healthy in the same obstetrics wards.The findings indicate that being born with a very low birth weight or very premature birth entails a greater risk of developing a withdrawn personality in adulthood. It is already known that people born before 32 weeks, or who weigh less than 3 pounds and 5 ounces (1.5 kilograms), are at greater risk of autistic behavior and generally have lower cognitive abilities.Their findings may explain why people who are born prematurely or underweight are more likely to have difficulties in their careers and relationships. Researchers say that people who are born weighing less than 1500 g or before 32 weeks of pregnancy are more likely to grow up introverted and risk-averse.

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