Sitting Matters! Differences Between Sitters and Nonsitters at 6 Months' Adjusted Age in Infants At-Risk and Born Preterm

Sandra Jensen-Willett, Malinda Pleasant, Barbara Jackson, Howard Needelman, Holly Roberts, Carol Mcmorris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Sitting delays in infants born preterm compound cognitive and language deficits. This retrospective study examines differences in prematurity-related risk and compares developmental outcomes between sitters and nonsitters at 6 months' adjusted age. Methods: A total of 105 graduates of the neonatal intensive care unit met inclusion criteria. Infant demographic and medical risk profiles and 6-month Bayley Scales of Infant Development-3rd edition (BSID-III) cognitive and language scores were retrieved. Infants who sat with hands free greater than 60 seconds were classified as "sitters." Results: Sixty-nine percent of the sample were nonsitters and were born earlier, had lower birth weights, were chronologically older at follow-up, and spent more days with respiratory support. BSID-III scores were significantly higher in sitters but did not differ by gender, multiple birth, head ultrasound results, payment type, or race/ethnicity. Conclusion: Sitting abilities at 6 months' adjusted age are associated with prematurity risk factors. Cognitive and language scores differ significantly between sitters and nonsitters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-262
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Physical Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019



  • NICU follow-up
  • at-risk infants
  • cognitive and language development
  • motor
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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