Date of Publication


Faculty Mentor

Mykayla O'Brien, MPH


Objective: To determine if there is correlation between low birth weight and the development of learning disabilities in later stages of life.

Methods: Data from the National Child Health Survey from 2018-2020 was used with data from

59,963 U.S. households looking at children aged six to eleven years. A multiple linear regression model was used to assess the relationship between low birth weight (<2500g) and learning disabilities and developmental delays when controlling for ethnicity, family structure, and household income.

Results: The results indicate 7.2% of those surveyed reported a child with a diagnosed learning disability. In response to the low birth weight category, 8.2% of the children involved were in the category below 2500g.

Conclusion: Pediatric health practitioners should be aware of this relationship and use low birth weight status as a screening criterion for potential to develop learning disabilities.

Policy Implications: More screening programs should be implemented to ensure that children with low birth weight status are assessed for signs of learning disabilities.

Document Type


Included in

Public Health Commons