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Browsing by Author "Rajakaski, Rosa"

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  • Rajakaski, Rosa (2017)
    Aims. Early interaction skills are the base for later language development. Very low birth weight (VLBW) children are at a higher risk for developing language difficulties. Earlier studies have shown that both gaze behaviours and early gestures develop differently among VLBW children compared with children born full-term. The assessment of early gestures may provide help in finding at least some of the children who are at risk for later language difficulties. The aim of this study was to analyze the use of gaze behaviours and gestures in VLBW children at the age of one, comparing the results with a control group. We also compared gestures analyzed with the Finnish version of Communicative Development Inventories (FinCDI) to gestures analyzed from video data to examine the possible connection between these different types of assessment tools. Methods. The participants of this study consisted of 10 VLBW children and 10 full-term children (N=20). The same group was also a part of a bigger study, titled Development and functioning of very low birth weight children. In this study, gaze behaviours and gestures were analyzed from video data, divided into four different types of gaze behaviours and five different types of gestures. The possible connection between gaze behaviours and gestures in and between groups was analyzed by using Spearman`s correlation. In addition, Mann Whitney`s U-test was used to analyze the possible differences between these groups. Spearman`s correlation was also used to examine the possible correlation among the two different assessment tools. Results and conclusions. The types of gaze behaviours and gestures used most often by children in both groups were eye contact between mother and child, deictic gestures and gestures with objects. VLBW children had less eye contact, deictic gestures and gestures with objects compared with the full-term group. A significant difference between VLBW children and the control group was found in deictic gestures. It was also found that there was a significant correlation between the two assessment tools when comparing the two groups together (N=20). The results are similar to the findings of earlier studies and indicate that VLBW children use less eye contact and early gestures compared to the control group.