STAP Project

Premature children

a Study on Attention of Preterm children

Yearly, in the Netherlands 11.000 children (approximately 6%) are born after 32 to 37 weeks of gestation. The bulk of research has focused on children born before 32 weeks of gestation. Nevertheless, moderately preterm born (32-37 weeks gestation) children are born immature and research is needed to examine their development throughout childhood. Both general development as well as specific outcomes, such as attention skills and processing speed, could be adversely affected by moderately preterm birth.

In the STAP Project two groups of children are being followed from infancy through to school age: a group of moderately preterm and a group of term born children.

The goal of this project is threefold:

  1. to compare developmental outcomes, such as general intelligence, attention skills and behavior problems of moderately preterm children to their term born peers at the start of school (6 years of age);
  2. to identify which early childhood factors contribute to long-term developmental outcome at school age;
  3. to examine which mechanisms underlie the subtle differences in the development of moderately preterm born children.

StapPlus project

The STAPPlus project is a spin-off from the original STAP project, focusing on extremely preterm born (before 28 weeks of gestation) children. The main aim of this project is to examine associations between attention skills and early brain development in extremely preterm born children in collaboration with colleagues from Experimental Psychology as well as Neonatology at UMC Utrecht.

How do prematurely born children grow up?

Researchers