Low Birth Weight and Psychoeducational Outcomes: Investigation of an African American Birth Cohort

Stefan C. Dombrowski, Karen L. Gischlar, Lauren Green, Kelly Noonan, Roy P. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


African Americans experience more than double the prevalence of low birth weight (LBW)/premature birth compared to their Caucasian counterparts, reflecting a public health crisis and a significant social justice concern. However, there is a paucity of LBW outcome studies in African American samples. There are even fewer that investigate developmental outcomes within the moderately LBW range (i.e., 1500–2500 g), the most prevalent category of LBW births. This study investigates the relationship between LBW and various psychoeducational outcomes in a prospectively designed African American birth cohort. Multivariate logit analyses of the Johns Hopkins University Pathways to Adulthood study compared LBW children with normal birth weight children on a number of outcome measures at seven and 8 years of age. Results revealed that children born within the lowest birth weight category produced the most adverse findings, from both a statistical and clinical standpoint, on measures of cognitive ability, academic achievement, speech, language, auditory processing, and visual–motor integration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Psychoeducational Assessment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Clinical Psychology
  • General Psychology


  • African American
  • academic achievement
  • cognitive ability
  • developmental outcomes
  • low birth weight


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