Document Detail

Hurricane Katrina-related maternal stress, maternal mental health, and early infant temperament.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19554438     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
To investigate temperament in infants whose mothers were exposed to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, and to determine if high hurricane exposure is associated with difficult infant temperament. A prospective cohort study of women giving birth in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, LA (n = 288) in 2006-2007 was conducted. Questionnaires and interviews assessed the mother's experiences during the hurricane, living conditions, and psychological symptoms, 2 months and 12 months postpartum. Infant temperament characteristics were reported by the mother using the activity, adaptability, approach, intensity, and mood scales of the Early Infant and Toddler Temperament Questionnaires, and "difficult temperament" was defined as scoring in the top quartile for three or more of the scales. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between hurricane experience, mental health, and infant temperament. Serious experiences of the hurricane did not strongly increase the risk of difficult infant temperament (association with three or more serious experiences of the hurricane: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 1.50, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63-3.58 at 2 months; 0.58, 0.15-2.28 at 12 months). Maternal mental health was associated with report of difficult infant temperament, with women more likely to report having a difficult infant temperament at 1 year if they had screened positive for PTSD (aOR 1.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.61-5.41), depression, (aOR 3.16, 95% CI 1.22-8.20) or hostility (aOR 2.17, 95% CI 0.81-5.82) at 2 months. Large associations between maternal stress due to a natural disaster and infant temperament were not seen, but maternal mental health was associated with reporting difficult temperament. Further research is needed to determine the effects of maternal exposure to disasters on child temperament, but in order to help babies born in the aftermath of disaster, the focus may need to be on the mother's mental health.
Michael T Tees; Emily W Harville; Xu Xiong; Pierre Buekens; Gabriella Pridjian; Karen Elkind-Hirsch
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2009-06-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Maternal and child health journal     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1573-6628     ISO Abbreviation:  Matern Child Health J     Publication Date:  2010 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-02     Completed Date:  2010-11-02     Revised Date:  2013-03-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9715672     Medline TA:  Matern Child Health J     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  511-8     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Tulane University, 1440 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Child Psychology
Cyclonic Storms*
Infant, Newborn
Logistic Models
New Orleans
Pregnancy Complications / etiology,  psychology*
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / psychology*
Prospective Studies
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / complications*,  etiology,  psychology
Young Adult
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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