Stimulation and cognitive function in short-stature preschoolers

  • Ika Citra Dewi Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of Sumatera Utara
  • Rini Sekartini
  • Hartono Gunardi
  • Asrawati Nurdin
Keywords: stimulation, cognitive function, short stature, preschool age


Background Normal-height children generally have better cognitive function than growth-stunted, short-stature children. Children’s cognitive function reportedly improves with stimulation. However, a correlation between stimulation and cognitive function in children with a history of short stature remains unclear.

Objective To assess correlation between stimulation and cognitive function in normal-height vs. short-stature preschool children.

Methods A cross-sectional study with consecutive sampling was performed in four sub-district areas in Jakarta. Preschool-aged children and their primary caregivers from previous studies on short stature were eligible for inclusion. An Indonesian version of a questionnaire was used to assess stimulation. A psychologist assessed verbal IQ (VIQ), performance IQ (PIQ), and full-scale IQ (FSIQ) with the Indonesian version of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI). Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation and Chi-square tests, and P values <0.05 were considered to be significant.

Results Of 62 subjects, 64.5% had normal height and 35.5% had short stature. Both normal-height and short-stature children had similar IQ outcome and history of stimulation. The stimulation was significantly correlated with FSIQ in normal-height children (r= 0.316; P=0.047), but not short-stature children (r=0.049; P=0.828). However, the percentage differences in VIQ, PIQ, and FSIQ between normal-height and short-stature children were not significant (P=0.409, 0.119 and 0.877, respectively).

Conclusion  There is a significant correlation between stimulation and IQ in normal-height children. Short-stature preschoolers were not worse in terms of IQ than normal-height preschoolers. Parents and caregivers should be encouraged to provide regular and adequate stimulation to their young children.

Author Biography

Ika Citra Dewi, Department of Child Health, Medical School, University of Sumatera Utara
Department of Child Health


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How to Cite
Dewi I, Sekartini R, Gunardi H, Nurdin A. Stimulation and cognitive function in short-stature preschoolers. PI [Internet]. 2Mar.2021 [cited 28May2024];61(2):74-1. Available from:
Developmental Behavioral & Community Pediatrics
Received 2020-10-16
Accepted 2021-03-02
Published 2021-03-02