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Randomised controlled trial
A 2-year early childhood psychosocial stimulation programme improves cognitive outcomes and decreases violent behaviour at 22 years for children with growth retardation
  1. Richard E Tremblay1,2
  1. 1School of Public health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Richard E Tremblay
    School of Public health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland; tremblar{at}

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of early childhood stimulation and/or nutritional supplementation on growth-retarded children in Jamaica, a developing country.


Children (N=129) between 9 and 24 months with growth retardation were randomly allocated to four groups for a 2-year trial: (1) control, (2) nutritional supplementation (1 kg milk-based formula per week), (3) psychosocial stimulation (weekly play sessions to improve mother–child interaction) or (4), nutritional supplementation and psychosocial stimulation. The long-term effects of the intervention were assessed at 7, 11, 17 and 22 years.


Walker and colleagues reported educational, cognitive, social and health outcomes at 22 years for 105 participants. No significant effects were observed for those who received only nutritional supplementation. However, compared …

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  • Competing interests None.