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Tiny Babies May Leave the Nest Later Than Larger Peers

Do small baby toes equal smaller grown up steps? Young adults who came into the world with a low birthweight tend to stay in the nest longer than their full-term peers, according to a new Finnish study.

The study found individuals in their late teens and 20s who weighed less than 3 pounds, 5 ounces at birth were less likely to have moved out of their parents' home, to be living with a significant other, or to be having sex than people of the same age who were born a normal weight.

For other interesting findings from the study,

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  • To examine how known personality traits of adults born very small might affect their maturation the study followed 162 very low birthweight young adults and 188 normal birthweight adults who ranged in age from 18 to 27. The group's average age was about 22.
  • At the time of the survey, the very low birthweight individuals were 29 percent less likely to have lived with a spouse or intimate partner and 75 percent more likely to still be living with their parents.
  • Low birthweight young women were more than twice as likely to still be virgins, while their male counterparts' likelihood of never having had sex was nearly triple that of their normal birthweight peers. On average, the very low birthweight individuals had fewer lifetime sexual partners than full-term individuals.

The researchers noted none of the findings aren't particularly beneficial or disadvantageous, but do provide interesting insight into how low birthweight may play into development and choices later in life. What do you think?

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