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Phonological awareness of prematurely born children at school entry

Nina Kozamernik (2022) Phonological awareness of prematurely born children at school entry. MSc thesis.

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    Around 6 to 7 % of children in Slovenia are born prematurely. Babies, born before 32nd or 34th week of gestational age are even more medically endangered. Researchers warn of developmental-neurological issues, related to preterm birth. Deviations arise in language skills too, even within premature children without major neurological or sensorical impairments. Theoretical introduction is first focused on prenatal development of structures, connected to communication, language and speech, which are developing until 34th week of gestational age. Then prematurity with it's possible effects is described. Gestational age and maturity at birth delivery, different perinatal/postnatal medical complications and other internal and external features make this group of children very heterogeneous, this is why we described challenges in researching development of premature children. Afterwards we focused on a general speech and language development and even more detailed on phonological awareness – development, importance, assessment. In the end of theoretical introduction foreign researches of language, speech and additionally phonological awareness of preterm children are described. Because of heterogeneity mentioned earlier, researches and their findings differ, but there is a tendency to premature children having poorer language skills. Our study examined, if phonological awareness in Slovenian speaking premature children, born in 32nd week of gestation or earlier, weighing 1500 grams or less, who are without major neurological and/or sensorical impairments, differ from their term peers when entering school; and if any of the factors involved affects their phonological awareness. For this purpose we formed a phonological awareness test and a questionnaire. 16 premature children and 16 peers participated in the research. Our research shows that premature children did not score significantly worse than their term peers in separated tasks or in a total number of points (p = 0.073). After we divided tasks on a deep and shallow phonological awareness, premature children scored significantly worse than their term peers on tasks of a shallow phonological awareness (p = 0.034), but not on tasks of a deep phonological awareness (p = 0.168). Our study shows that multiple birth (in advantage of singletons), number of language examples in a family (in advantage of more examples) and ear inflammation (surprisingly in advantage of more inflammations) effect phonological awareness in a group of preterm children. These factors did not show significant in a group of term peers, but the education of the father did. As the number of included infants in our study is small, we must understand and consider results only as a part of this research.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: phonological awareness, premature birth, premature infants, language skills of premature children, factor effects
    Number of Pages: 114
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. sc. Emica FaragoMentor
    asist. dr. Jerneja Novšak BrceComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/113298179
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 7245
    Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 10:03
    Last Modified: 30 Jun 2022 10:03
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/7245

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