Behavioral characteristics and early temperament of premature infants with intracranial hemorrhage

Laurie T. Anderson, Cynthia Garcia Coll, Betty R. Vohr, Laura Emmons, Benjamin Brann, Philip W. Shaul, Steven R. Mayfield, William Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Behavioral characteristics of 12 full-term and 44 premature infants with and without intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) were studied. Cranial ultrasonography prospectively documented Grade I-II ICH in 14, Grade III-IV in 19 and no ICH in 11 premature infants. Examination at corrected age of 40 ± 2 weeks using the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale showed that infants in the ICH groups had lower levels of arousal and more abnormal reflexes than full-terms. Infants with ICH III-IV displayed less optimal motor responses than full-term infants and diminished orientation responses, especially to visual stimuli. Thus, lower level of arousal, immature motoric processes, and poor visual orientation differentiated premature with ICH from full-term infants, although premature infants without these sequelae, did not differ significantly from full-term infants. The above may represent early manifestations of visual-perceptual and motor problems noted in the follow-up of ICH infants. Further, neonatal behavior was found to affect parent ratings of infant temperament (via the Bates Infant Characteristics Questionnaire) at 3 months corrected age, and the relationships between neonatal behavior and parental ratings differed depending upon the infant's gestational age and severity of hemorrhage. We conclude that neonatal behaviors are less optimal in premature infants, and least optimal in premature infants with severe intracranial hemorrhage when compared to fullterm infants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-283
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1989


  • behavior
  • intracranial hemorrhage
  • premature
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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