Low-birth-weight children growing up in contemporary families

Hideko Matsuo, Université Catholique de Louvain

The first part of this paper consists of a literature review and discusses the individual maternal risk factors for low birth weight and their mutual interrelations, as well as their links with phenomena such as the increased use of assisted reproductive technologies. It then examines the child health consequences of low birth weight, starting from a broad definition of health, which takes account of both the social and psychological aspects of child health. Does the socio-economic environment have the potential to affect the health consequences of low birth weight? Can a good environment, for instance, allow low birth weight children to catch up with their normal birth weight peers in terms of educational performance? The results of our literature review suggest that the answers to both questions are positive. The second part of this paper briefly presents the results of an empirical analysis based on Belgian micro-level data.

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Presented in Poster Session 2