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Special Issue "Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Child Neurology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2022) | Viewed by 4475

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Paige Terrien Church
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Neonatal Follow Up Clinic, Sunnybrook Health Science Center, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada
Interests: neonatology; developmental behavioral pediatrics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The field of Developmental Pediatrics emphasizes early identification, advocacy, and intervention to optimize functional neurodevelopmental outcomes of children with a myriad of potential challenges. With the advances in biological underpinnings of neurodevelopmental disabilities, further sub specialization within the field has emerged. This new frontier explores genetic underpinnings, articulates the developmental phenotypes with greater granularity, examines identification of dual diagnoses, and evaluates intervention efficacy. It has also led to greater examination of parental mental health.

This special edition aims to highlight new frontiers in Developmental Pediatrics, through invitations for papers articulating novel neurodevelopmental perspectives. It also seeks papers describing gold standard assessment and identification, particularly with dual diagnoses, interventions, and support for parental mental health.

Dr. Paige Terrien Church
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • preterm birth
  • neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • developmental phenotype
  • parent mental health
  • autism
  • cerebral palsy
  • genetics

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
For the Parent, by the Parent: Creating a Program to Empower Parents of Refugee Background in Canada Using Novel Participatory Approaches
Children 2022, 9(12), 1816; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9121816 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 244
Abstract
Background: Families of refugee background have complex, multigenerational mental health and developmental needs that are not accounted for in current programming frameworks in Canada. Providing appropriate support services and educational resources that address the unique concerns of families of refugee background will allow [...] Read more.
Background: Families of refugee background have complex, multigenerational mental health and developmental needs that are not accounted for in current programming frameworks in Canada. Providing appropriate support services and educational resources that address the unique concerns of families of refugee background will allow for improved family cohesion and developmental outcomes for children. Parenting programs have been shown to be successful in improving parental stress, parental efficacy, and children’s mental health and well-being. This study gathers data about the experiences of caregivers of refugee background in order to develop a novel, multi-dimensional parenting program model using Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) principles. Methodology: This was a qualitative, CBPR study using a formative research framework. In-depth interviews (IDIs) were conducted with caregivers of refugee background and service providers that work closely with this population. Data were recorded, transcribed, and coded using deductive and inductive coding methods by two independent coders. Results: A total of 20 IDIs were conducted (7 caregivers and 13 service providers). The main topics that were identified to be incorporated into the program include: features of child development, how to address resettlement issues, child advocacy, and parenting after resettlement. Participants felt that tackling language barriers, addressing the overlapping responsibilities of caregivers attending the sessions, providing incentives, increasing awareness of the program, and using an anti-racist and anti-oppressive approach was key to the program’s success. Participants emphasized the need for trauma-informed mental health supports within the program model. Conclusion: This study describes the key considerations for a novel parenting program for families of refugee background, by engaging them as key stakeholders in the program design process. Future iterations of this project would involve a pilot and evaluation of the program. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
Article
Fostering Hope: Comprehensive Accessible Mother-Infant Dyad Care for Neonatal Abstinence (CAIN)
Children 2022, 9(10), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9101517 - 04 Oct 2022
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Hospital and community healthcare providers have expressed concerns around the continuity and quality of care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) during hospitalization and transition home. This qualitative study explored the experiences of hospital and community-based healthcare providers and identified themes related [...] Read more.
Hospital and community healthcare providers have expressed concerns around the continuity and quality of care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) during hospitalization and transition home. This qualitative study explored the experiences of hospital and community-based healthcare providers and identified themes related to the management of NAS for mothers and infants. Healthcare providers that cared for women with substance use disorders and/or cared for newborns with NAS in a large urban setting in Canada met inclusion criteria for this study and were interviewed in groups or as individuals. Interview transcripts were reviewed iteratively using inductive thematic analysis to identify an overarching theme linked with primary themes. In total, 45 healthcare providers were interviewed. Qualitative analysis of their experiences derived the overarching theme of hope with five primary themes being: mother/infant, mental health, system, judgement, and knowledge. The study identified gaps in NAS care including fear, stigma, and language. This research demonstrates that programs and interventions that work with mothers and newborns with NAS must foster hope in mothers, families, and in the extended care provider team and improve communication between hospital and community networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
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Article
Impact of Differing Language Background Exposures on Bayley-III Language Assessment in a National Cohort of Children Born Less than 29 Weeks’ Gestation
Children 2022, 9(7), 1048; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9071048 - 14 Jul 2022
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Preterm infants are at risk for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, especially language delay. Preterm infants < 29 weeks’ gestational age, cared for in Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network affiliated hospitals, were assessed between 18 to 21 months corrected age using the Bayley-III. Bayley-III Language Composite [...] Read more.
Preterm infants are at risk for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, especially language delay. Preterm infants < 29 weeks’ gestational age, cared for in Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network affiliated hospitals, were assessed between 18 to 21 months corrected age using the Bayley-III. Bayley-III Language Composite Scores were compared using univariate and multivariate analyses for children in three primary language groups: English, French and other. 6146 children were included. The primary language at home was English, French or another language for 3708 children (60%), 1312 children (21%) and 1126 children (18%), respectively, and overall, 44% were exposed to two or more languages at home. Univariate analysis showed that primary language was associated with lower Bayley-III Language scores; however, multivariate analyses demonstrated that neither primary language nor language of administration were significantly associated with lower language scores when adjusted for gestational age, other developmental delays and sociodemographic factors, but multiple language exposure was. Sociodemographic and other factors are more important in determining language development than primary language at home. Further studies are needed to examine the association between exposure to multiple languages and lower Bayley-III language scores in preterm infants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
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Article
Automated Movement Analysis to Predict Cerebral Palsy in Very Preterm Infants: An Ambispective Cohort Study
Children 2022, 9(6), 843; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9060843 - 07 Jun 2022
Viewed by 859
Abstract
The General Movements Assessment requires extensive training. As an alternative, a novel automated movement analysis was developed and validated in preterm infants. Infants < 31 weeks’ gestational age or birthweight ≤ 1500 g evaluated at 3–5 months using the general movements assessment were [...] Read more.
The General Movements Assessment requires extensive training. As an alternative, a novel automated movement analysis was developed and validated in preterm infants. Infants < 31 weeks’ gestational age or birthweight ≤ 1500 g evaluated at 3–5 months using the general movements assessment were included in this ambispective cohort study. The C-statistic, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were calculated for a predictive model. A total of 252 participants were included. The median gestational age and birthweight were 274/7 weeks (range 256/7–292/7 weeks) and 960 g (range 769–1215 g), respectively. There were 29 cases of cerebral palsy (11.5%) at 18–24 months, the majority of which (n = 22) were from the retrospective cohort. Mean velocity in the vertical direction, median, standard deviation, and minimum quantity of motion constituted the multivariable model used to predict cerebral palsy. Sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values were 55%, 80%, 26%, and 93%, respectively. C-statistic indicated good fit (C = 0.74). A cluster of four variables describing quantity of motion and variability of motion was able to predict cerebral palsy with high specificity and negative predictive value. This technology may be useful for screening purposes in very preterm infants; although, the technology likely requires further validation in preterm and high-risk term populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
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Article
The STEP Program—A Qualitative Study of the Supportive Therapeutic Excursion Program and Its Effect on Enabling Parental Self-Efficacy and Connectedness after the Stress-Experience of the NICU
Children 2022, 9(5), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9050591 - 22 Apr 2022
Viewed by 1108
Abstract
As a child is born, so are the parents with new roles assumed. Attachment is secured, and parents quickly become the experts in their child. With preterm birth, however, this quiet and essential period of discovery is interrupted. It is described as a [...] Read more.
As a child is born, so are the parents with new roles assumed. Attachment is secured, and parents quickly become the experts in their child. With preterm birth, however, this quiet and essential period of discovery is interrupted. It is described as a traumatic and stressful experience. Programs that aim to address this focus on education and support. This qualitative study explores the effect on parents and staff of a novel and simple intervention of parents walking their baby in a stroller (Supportive Therapeutic Excursion Program, STEP). This study used a qualitative methodology that included 20 semi-structured interviews for content saturation to explore the experiences of parents and staff participating in the STEP program. We found an overall positive experience reported by both parents and nursing staff with STEP. Analysis revealed that as autonomy is fostered with parent education around transition to home, STEP brought a normalcy that was reported to bolster participating parents’ self-efficacy and connectedness, two important elements for recovery from stressful situations. The potential impact of STEP can be far reaching because, although future research is needed, these data suggest that inexpensive programs that promote normalcy may enable self-efficacy and connectedness prior to hospital discharge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences and Maternal Stress in Neonatal Intensive Care Units
Children 2022, 9(2), 251; https://doi.org/10.3390/children9020251 - 13 Feb 2022
Viewed by 906
Abstract
COVID-19 compounds the already high levels of psychological distress experienced by NICU mothers. We aimed to describe the rates of NICU-related maternal stress during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine how COVID-19 experiences correlate with high levels of stress experienced by NICU mothers. [...] Read more.
COVID-19 compounds the already high levels of psychological distress experienced by NICU mothers. We aimed to describe the rates of NICU-related maternal stress during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine how COVID-19 experiences correlate with high levels of stress experienced by NICU mothers. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis based on responses to a nationwide online survey to understand the relationship between COVID-19-related experiences and the stress experienced by mothers of infants admitted to U.S. NICUs (n = 108) during the pandemic. Results indicate that 61.9% of surveyed mothers reported experiencing high levels of stress on the Parental Stressor Scale: NICU. COVID-19-related grief was significantly associated with higher levels of maternal stress, as it related to seeing the baby’s appearance and behavior in the NICU and exposure to sights and sounds within the NICU environment. No significant associations were noted between parental stress and COVID-19-related health worries or worries about resources. Of note, our recruitment relied on convenience sampling, limiting the generalizability of study results. In conclusion, mothers who experience COVID-19-related grief appear to be more vulnerable to NICU-related stress. Prioritizing parent involvement and enhancing psychosocial support are essential strategies to mitigate the long-term consequences of heightened stress for NICU families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics in North America)
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