• The eating, sleeping, elimination, autoerotic and self-harming behavior of 19 preschool failure-to-thrive children was studied. Their behavior was compared to a group of 19 children growing normally for their chronological age. Information was obtained by repeated home visits by public health nurses. The growth-retarded children had more feeding difficulties as infants, had skimpier, less regular meals, and had poorer response to food when rated on a five-point scale. Their daily caloric intake was also lower. There were no substantial differences between groups for sleeping, elimination, autoerotic, and self-harming behaviors when each area was separately analyzed. However, when all the disturbances were summed, there was clear evidence that the failure-to-thrive children had a noticeably greater number of abnormalities than the control group.
(Am J Dis Child 130:24-29, 1976)