Psychological measures of prenatal stress as predictors of infant temperament
SourceJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 9, (2002), pp. 1078-1095
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
PI Group Memory & Emotion
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Subject110 012 Social cognition of verbal communication; Developmental Psychopathology
Objective: To examine, in a prospective study, whether maternal stress during pregnancy is related to infant temperament. Method: Self-report data on various aspects of prenatal stress were collected from nulliparous women in early pregnancy. Infant temperament was measured at 3 and 8 months by direct observation and by parent report. Results: Complete data were available for 170 term-born infants. Pregnancy-specific anxiety explained 3.3% of the variance of attention regulation at 3 months. Perceived stress and pregnancy anxiety taken together explained 5% of the variance of attention regulation at 8 months. Perceived stress accounted for 8.2% of the variance of difficult behavior of the 3-month-old infant. All results were adjusted for covariates. Conclusions: Increased maternal prenatal stress seems to be associated with temperamental variation of young infants and may be a risk factor for psychopathology later in life.
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