Document Detail

The effects of prenatal maternal stress on children's cognitive development: Project Ice Storm.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16019596     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
There exists considerable research on the effects of prenatal maternal stress on offspring. Animal studies, using random assignment to experimental and control groups, demonstrate the noxious effects of prenatal maternal stress on physical, behavioural and cognitive development. The generalizability of these results to humans is problematic given that cognitive attributions moderate reactions to stressors. In humans, researchers have relied upon maternal anxiety or exposure to life events as proxies for the stressors used with animals. Yet, the associations between maternal anxiety or potentially non-independent life events and problems in infants are confounded by genetic transmission of temperament from mother to child. We summarize the literature on prenatal maternal stress and infant cognitive development, leading to the conclusion that the human literature lacks the ability to separate the effects of the objective exposure to a stressor and the mother's subjective reaction. We then describe our prospective Project Ice Storm in which we are following 150 children who were exposed in utero to a natural disaster. We demonstrate significant effects of the objective severity of exposure on cognitive and language development at age two years with important moderating effects of the timing during pregnancy. The implications of our findings are discussed.
Suzanne King; David P Laplante
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Stress (Amsterdam, Netherlands)     Volume:  8     ISSN:  1025-3890     ISO Abbreviation:  Stress     Publication Date:  2005 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-07-15     Completed Date:  2005-08-17     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9617529     Medline TA:  Stress     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  35-45     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Québec, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Child, Preschool
Cognition Disorders / etiology,  physiopathology*
Language Development Disorders / etiology,  physiopathology*
Pregnancy Complications
Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
Stress, Physiological / complications,  physiopathology*
Comment In:
Stress. 2005 Mar;8(1):1-3   [PMID:  16019593 ]

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

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