Alessandra Sansavini

Alessandra Sansavini
University of Bologna | UNIBO · Department of Psychology PSI

PhD in Psychology

About

73
Publications
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1,566
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Publications

Publications (73)
Article
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This observational study aimed to investigate whether predischarge cerebral oxygenation (CrSO 2 ), monitored by near-infrared spectroscopy, correlates with later psychomotor outcome in very preterm infants. Infants <32 weeks’ gestation or <1500 g without evidence of major brain lesions underwent a 3-h continuous CrSO 2 monitoring before hospital di...
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Background: Mindful parenting and the use of technology for parenting intervention have expanded separately from one another with promising results, but their relationship is underexplored. The current study protocol proposes a new universal intervention via app, MINd Us TOghether (MinUTo), based on mindful parenting for parents of typically devel...
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The successful integration of technology in teaching is a key component of education. Although prior research highlighted factors fostering the use of technology by teachers, few studies focused on whether these factors vary among teachers of different grade levels and subjects. Moreover, no studies have investigated personal experiences related to...
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Young children use gestures to practice communicative functions that foster their receptive and expressive linguistic skills. Studies investigating the use of gestures by late talkers are limited. This study aimed to investigate the use of gestures and gesture–word combinations and their associations with word comprehension and word and sentence pr...
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Background: Early parental interventions in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) have beneficial effects on preterm infants' short and long-term outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Early Vocal Contact (EVC)-singing and speaking-on preterm infants' vagal activity and autonomic nervous system (ANS) maturation. Met...
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Background The World Health Organization stated an average of 60 min of Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) that children should accumulate every day. Nevertheless physical inactivity is growing and, due to restrictions imposed during pandemic, PA levels of children might be more negatively affected. The study aimed to analyse the impact...
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Lay Description What is already known about this topic The spread of COVID‐19 forced schools to transfer didactic activities into virtual environments. However, distance education presented difficulties in its implementation among teachers. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and online teaching self‐efficacy played a crucial role in behav...
Article
Despite the well-recognized importance of proper gut microbiota assembly for the child’s future health, the connections between the early-life gut microbiota and neurocognitive development in humans have not been thoroughly explored so far. In this pilot observational study, we aimed to unveil the relation between dynamic succession of the gut micr...
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Several qualitative and quantitative features of parental speech input support children’s language development and may play a critical role in improving such process in late talkers. Parent-implemented interventions targeting late-talkers have been developed to promote children’s language outcomes by enhancing their linguistic environment, i.e., pa...
Article
Purpose Wide interindividual variability characterizes language development in the general and at-risk populations of up to 3 years of age. We adopted a complex approach that considers multiple aspects of lexical and grammatical skills to identify language profiles in low-risk preterm and full-term children. We also investigated biological and envi...
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Background: Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is frequent in childhood and may have long-term sequelae. By employing an evidence-based approach, this scoping review aims at identifying (a) early predictors of DLD; (b) the optimal age range for the use of screening and diagnostic tools; (c) effective diagnostic tools in preschool children. Met...
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Preterm infants are at risk for developing altered trajectories of cognitive, social, and linguistic competences compared to a term population. This is mainly due to medical and environmental factors, as they are exposed to an atypical auditory environment and simultaneously, long periods of early separation from their parents. The short-term effec...
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Background: Language disorder is the most frequent developmental disorder in childhood and it has a significant negative impact on children's development. The goal of the present review was to systematically analyze the effectiveness of interventions in children with developmental language disorder (DLD) from an evidence-based perspective. Method...
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As indicated by the World Health Organization, preterm birth is a relevant public health issue, being one of the leading causes of death in children under five years of age [...]
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Parent-implemented language interventions have been used for children with expressive language delays, but no study has yet been carried out using this intervention for low-risk preterm children. The current study examined the effect of a parent-implemented dialogic book reading intervention, determining also whether the intervention differently im...
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Abstract: Background: Children and adolescents should perform, according to the World Health Organization guidelines, at least 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per-day in order to avoid the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The school represents a fundamental setting to conduct interventions to promote physical activit...
Article
Difficulties in mathematics have been described in very preterm children, but their origins are not well understood and may differ from other populations with specific learning disability. Very preterm children, children with learning disability, and typically developing children were compared in mathematics skills, using standardized tools, experi...
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In this study, we analyzed whether 6-month gross and fine motor skills were related to 12-month gross and fine motor skills and cognitive development, controlling for 6-month cognitive skills, and neonatal status (extremely low gestational age ELGA ≤ 28 weeks vs. full-term FT ≥ 37 weeks). We also investigated, at 6 months, predictive indexes for mo...
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There is evidence that preterm infants of migrant mothers are at a higher risk of adverse perinatal outcomes than those of native-born mothers, and that human milk feeding is beneficial to infants’ neurodevelopment. Using the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) to classify mother’s country of origin, we investigated whether type of neonata...
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Infants with an older sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis (Sibs ASD) are at high risk for language delay (LD) as well as infants born preterm, especially those with an extremely low gestational age (ELGA, GA ≤ 28 weeks). Gestures play a crucial role in language development and delays in gesture production may have negative cascading...
Article
Background Very preterm (VPT) children showed delays in reading, spelling and maths, but their academic achievement profile is not clearly understood. Aims VPT children were compared with children with specific learning disorders (SLD) and typically developing (TD) children on academic achievement, considering cognitive and linguistic phenotypic m...
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Objective: The aim of this observational study was to evaluate the effects of two different protein intake regimes on feeding tolerance, in-hospital growth, anthropometric data and psychomotor outcome up to 24 months corrected age (CA) in extremely low birth-weight (ELBW; birth weight <1000 g) infants. Methods: During the period 2008–2013, 52 ELBW...
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BACKGROUND: An increasing body of research on typically and atypically developing infants has shown that motor skills play an important role in language development. To date, however, the role of specific object exploration skills for early gesture and vocabulary development has not been investigated in extremely low gestational age infants (ELGA,...
Article
The present study examined maternal responses to infants’ spontaneous communicative behaviors in a sample of 20 extremely-low-gestational-age (ELGA) infants and 20 full-term (FT) infants during 30 minutes of play interaction when infants were 12 months of age. Relations between maternal responses and infants’ communication skills at 12 and 24 month...
Article
This cross-linguistic study investigated whether the native language has any influence on lexical composition among Italian (N = 125) and Finnish (N = 116) very preterm (born at <32 gestational weeks) children at 24 months (controls: 125 Italian and 146 Finnish full-term children). The investigation also covered the effect of maternal education (ME...
Article
Aim: This cross-sectional study focused on the effect of very preterm (VPT) birth on language development by analysing phonological, lexical, grammatical, and pragmatic skills and assessing the role of cognitive and memory skills. Method: Sixty children (29 males, 31 females) born VPT (<32wks) aged 5 years were compared with 60 children with typ...
Article
Learning outcomes: After reading this manuscript, the reader will understand (a) the differences in noun and predicate comprehension and production between ELGA and FT children and the indexes of lexical delays exhibited by ELGA children at 2;0 (CCA); (b) the relevance of evaluating errors (incorrect response and no response), the types of incorre...
Article
Extremely low gestational age children (ELGA, born below 28 weeks of GA) represent the most at-risk preterm group in terms of survival, developmental sequelae and rates of impairment and cognitive delays. However, the impact of an extremely preterm birth on mother-infant co-regulation and affective intensity which may affect early infant's developm...
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A considerable amount of research has examined the link between children's peer acceptance, which refers to the degree of likability within the peer group, social functioning and emotional wellbeing, at a same age and in a long term perspective, pointing out to the contribution of peer acceptance for mental wellbeing. Our study proposes a sociometr...
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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of human milk feeding during NICU hospi-talization on neurodevelopment at 24 months of corrected age in very low birth weight in-fants. A cohort of 316 very low birth weight newborns (weight 1500 g) was prospectively enrolled in a follow-up program on admission to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of...
Article
Serious difficulties in formal mathematical skills have been identified in preterm children. By contrast, basic-level numerical skills like magnitude judgments have not yet been tested in these children. The aim of the present research was to investigate whether preterm birth also affects these basic numerical abilities, with particular attention t...
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Background and Aims As revealed by several studies, a very preterm birth may affect language, executive functions, verbal short term memory and literacy. The aim of this study was to investigate these competencies in very preterms compared to full terms, thus describing how language, executive functions and verbal short-term memory observed at the...
Article
Several studies have highlighted how language and literacy can be affected by preterm birth. This review aims at analyzing the effects of preterm birth on specific language (lexicon, grammar and phonological awareness) and literacy competencies (reading and writing) from the first years of life to adolescence, through the description of studies car...
Article
We tested the hypothesis that extremely low gestational age (ELGA) preterm birth without major cerebral damage impacts developmental outcomes and trajectories in the first year, expecting poorer developmental outcomes, a higher rate of impairments and different developmental trajectories in ELGA with respect to full term (FT) infants. Direct tools...
Article
Preterm birth is characterized by multiple interacting atypical constraints affecting different aspects of neuropsychological development. In the first years of life, perceptual, motor, and communicative-linguistic abilities, as well as attention, processing speed, and memory are affected by preterm birth resulting in cascading effects on later dev...
Article
The present study involved a systematic longitudinal analysis, with three points of assessment in the second year of life, of gestures/actions, word comprehension, and word production in a sample of very preterm infants compared to a sample of full-term infants. The relationships among these competencies as well as their predictive value on languag...
Article
This study determined whether very preterm infants, without frank cerebral damage, exhibited lower linguistic abilities and a higher rate of risk at 2 years as compared to full-term infants and normative values. It also aimed to identify whether risk of lexical delay was associated with absence of word combination and cognitive impairment and which...
Article
Extremely low and very low gestational age (ELGA and VLGA) constitutes a risk factor for development even in absence of cerebral damage, as an immature central nervous system is exposed to invasive and inadequate stimulation. We tested the hypothesis that GA impacts developmental outcomes and trajectories of preterms without major cerebral damage i...
Article
Although premature birth is associated with lags in language acquisition, it is unclear whether preterms exhibit an elevated risk for language impairment (LI). This study determined whether preterms, without frank cerebral damage, at 2;6 and 3;6 exhibited a higher rate of risk for LI as compared to full-terms, and also sought to identify predictors...
Article
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Our study aimed to examine longitudinally early development of gestures, object-actions (short for object-related-actions ), word comprehension, and word production and their reciprocal relationships in typically developing infants. Twenty-two monolingual Italian infants were followed monthly from 0;10 up to 1;5 with the Italian short form of MacAr...
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The aims of this study were to investigate whether specific linguistic difficulties in preterm children persist at eight years and to examine the interrelationships between language and literacy in this population, compared with a control group of full-term children. Sixty-eight monolingual Italian preterms and 26 chronologically matched controls w...
Article
Since preterm birth is associated with a constellation of pre-, peri- and post-natal risk factors, we hypothesised that prematurity may continue to impact the development of linguistic abilities even up to the end of the preschool years and beyond, giving rise to an atypical developmental trajectory. The study tested this hypothesis at six years of...
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This study sought to identify and compare the characteristics of the social pedagogic context of cognitive activities in a sample of early education settings in six European countries (England, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden). Previous research concerning the social context within which cognitive/learning activities take place has focused...
Article
Unlabelled: There have been few investigations of the effects of very immature preterm birth on specific linguistic competencies and phonological working memory at preschool age. Study 1 aimed to investigate early grammatical abilities in very immature healthy preterms, taking into account their cognitive development and biological and social fact...
Article
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This study aimed to investigate early lexical and grammatical development and their relations in a sample of very immature healthy preterms, in order to assess whether their linguistic development was typical, at risk or atypical. The effects of biological factors and parental level of education on preterms' linguistic development were also investi...
Article
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Background: The approximate number system has been studied in neonates, in animals, in typical and atypical populations, but not hitherto in at risk populations, such as preterm children. The aim of the present study was to investigate, through magnitude comparisons, whether preterm birth affects the approximate number system in the same way as has...
Article
In three European regions (The Netherlands, Northern Italy and Southern Italy) we investigated whether mothers of healthy pre-term infants (n=92) adjust their expectations for the timing of developmental milestones in the first years of life as compared to mothers of full-term infants (n=140). We examined whether these adjustments could be seen as...
Article
A possible relationship between preterm birth and circadian typology was investigated in two pilot survey studies involving 13-year-old teen-agers. Two different questionnaires were used: the Junior Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire (MEQ) (administered to 55 preterm and 210 fullterm subjects) and the Junior Composite Scale (CS) (administered to...
Chapter
The aim of this chapter is to present recent research, carried by ourselves and others, on the development of capacities for language acquisition during prenatal and postnatal life. Finding out which sounds reach the foetus and newborn first and most frequently and discovering how these stimuli influence their sensitivities and abilities can lead t...
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Does the newborn's well-known sensitivity to human speech include awareness of the distinction between strong and weak syllables, as has been shown for older infants and adults? The non-nutritive high-amplitude sucking paradigm was used to investigate whether weak syllables play a role in neonate perceptual representation. Two-day-old French infant...
Article
This paper approaches the problem of newborns' segmentation of speech into units, taking into account the language-specificity of phonological units and prosodic elements. Current hypotheses are discussed and a rhythmical hypothesis is proposed according to which newborns have a predisposition to pay attention to the rhythm of speech. At the words'...
Article
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Three experiments were run to test whether newborns were able to discriminate different stress patterns in multisyllabic stressed Italian words that varied both in consonants and in number of syllables. A high-amplitude sucking procedure was adopted in which the experimental group heard 2 sets of stimuli alternating minute by minute, whereas the co...
Article
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This study attempted to determine how cognitive, motor, linguistic, and social competencies of preterm children develop from birth to five years in comparison with a group of fullterm children. The interaction between biological and social risks was considered in evaluating short- and long-term delays in development. The study was also designed to...
Article
Full-text available
This study attempted to determine how cognitive, motor, linguistic, and social competencies of preterm children develop from birth to five years in comparison with a group of fullterm children. The interaction between biological and social risks was considered in evaluating short- and long-term delays in development. The study was also designed to...

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