Jenni Latal

Fakultäten » Medizinische Fakultät » Kinderspital Zürich: Medizinische Klinik » Entwicklungspädiatrie, Abteilung » Prof. Dr. Oskar Jenni » Jenni Latal

Completed research project

Title / Titel Analysis of the Zurich Longitudinal Studies
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Summary / Zusammenfassung Since 1954, three longitudinal studies on growth and development have been carried out at the Growth and Development Center of the University Children’s Hospital Zurich. The Center had the unique opportunity to follow up two subsequent generations.

A. First Longitudinal Study 1954 - 1978 (351 children)
B. Second Longitudinal Study 1974 - 1998 (111 children)
C. Second Generation Study since 1974 (320 children of probands of First Study)

These studies have provided a large data set on normal growth and development from birth to adulthood, and have so far constituted one of the largest and most complete longitudinal data sets on healthy children ever collected.

The Swiss National Science Foundation is currently supporting the analysis of the Zurich Longitudinal Studies:

Understanding developmental processes during childhood and the relevance of moderating factors for children's development is important for professionals in health care and education. It is of particular interest to examine the intraindividual course of developmental domains, for example to track the development of intellectual abilities of an individual child from birth through adolescence in comparison to other children. Knowledge about children's developmental course is also important in the clinical setting where outcome prediction of children at risk for developmental disorders such as preterm born children is central for parental guidance and counseling.

The data of the Zurich Longitudinal Studies (ZLS) offer the opportunity to examine outcome as well as intraindividual course of intellectual abilities from birth through adolescence. The ZLS are considered as one of the largest and most complete longitudinal data sets on children's growth and development ever collected. Aim: The aim of this project is to examine the outcome and intraindividual course of intellectual abilities in term and preterm born children. Intellectual abilities are the main outcome variable because they are a key predictor for academic achievement and frequently used in outcome studies of children at risk for developmental disorders. We also examine the influence of socioeconomic and medical risk factors as well as how other developmental domains such as physical maturation, sleep behavior and motor functions interact with intellectual development.

Importance: Pediatricians and other health care professionals generally screen health conditions, development and behavior for abnormalities during well-child visits. Children's growth, sleep behavior and motor development are often at the core of these visits. Thus, an understanding of the long-term effects of disturbances in these domains on intellectual abilities is important for appropriate professional and parental counseling. If we do know that certain conditions in early life may bear risks for later disturbances and poor intellectual outcome, we can implement early interventions and increase developmental monitoring by health care providers. For example, if we understand that sleep disruptions are related to poor outcome, we may more closely screen for these disturbances and start therapeutic interventions if they occur. Furthermore, we may be able to improve outcome of preterm children if we have identified the specific factors which determine their developmental course. This aim would be particularly important in view of the high prevalence of prematurity in Switzerland.
Publications / Publikationen Jenni OG (2013) What is a „normal“ children’s sleep duration. JAMA Pediatrics;167(1):91-92.

Jenni OG and Caflisch J (2012) [The clumsy child]. Ther Umsch 69(8):459-65.

Jenni OG and Carskadon MA (2012) Sleep behavior and sleep regulation from infancy through adolescence: normative aspects. Sleep Medicine Clinics 7(3): 529-538.

Braegger C, Jenni OG, Konrad D, Molinari L. Neue Wachstumskurven für die Schweiz (2011) Paediatrica 22; 1: 9-11.

Jenni OG, Benz C, Latal B (2011) Wenn die kindliche Entwicklung nicht im Gleichschritt verläuft - Kinder mit Entwicklungsauffälligkeiten besser verstehen. Pädiatrie up2date 2: 199-228.

Jenni OG (2013) Wie die Kinder die Welt abbilden - was man daraus folgern kann (2013) Pädiatrie up2date 3: 227-253.

Jenni OG, Benz C, Caflisch J, von Rhein M, Albermann K (2013) Entwicklungsstörungen im Vorschulalter: interdisziplinär beurteilt. Ther Umsch. 2013 Nov;70(11):637-45

Jenni OG und Largo RH (2013) Wachstum und Entwicklung. In: Hoffmann, Lentze, Spranger, Zepp. Pädiatrie: Grundlagen und Praxis, 4. Auflage. Seiten 8-91.

Jenni OG, Fintelmann S, Caflisch J, Latal B, Rousson V, Chaouch A (2014) Stability of cognitive performance in children with mild intellectual disability. Dev Med Child Neurology. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12620.

Jenni OG, Benz C, Hunkeler P, Werner H. Schlafphysiologie bei Kindern und deren Bedeutung für die Behandlung von nicht-organischen Schlafstörungen. Ther Umsch. 71(11):647-55.

Keywords / Suchbegriffe prematurity, sleep behavior and neuromotor development, developmental domains, children at risk, cognitive development, risk factors, stability, intraindividual variability, child development, stability, prematurity, neuromotor development, outcome research, intellectual development, preterm children, interindividual variability, developmental disorders, sleep behavior, developmental functions, growth, healthy children, intelligence
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Prof. Dr. Oskar Jenni (Project Leader)
PD Dr. Bea Latal (Project Leader)
Prof. Valentin Rousson  
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
SNF (Personen- und Projektförderung), Foundation, Others
SNF Project no. 129956, Largo Stiftung für Entwicklungspädiatrie
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Valentin Rousson, Unité de Statistique, Institut Universitaire de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Centre, Hospitalier Universitaire et Université de Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 17, CH-1005 Lausanne Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Apr 2010 to Dec 2015