Stress in Pregnancy Can Cause Behavioural Problems in Children

27 April, 2011 at 15:39 | Posted in Body & Mind, Children | 1 Comment
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By Trevor Maimann
Epoch Times Staff

Repeated stressful events experienced by women during pregnancy can increase the risk of behavioural problems in their children, according to a new study.

Common stressful events such as financial and relationship problems, difficult pregnancy, job loss, and major life stressors like a death in the family have a direct correlation with behavioural problems in children, the study finds.

Released by the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth, Australia, the study was published online in the latest edition of the international journal Development and Psychopathology.

Registered psychologist Dr. Monique Robinson, lead author of the study, said that although previous studies have shown a link between stress and negative effects, this one goes further by analysing the timing, amount, and kinds of events that lead to poorer outcomes.

“What we have found is that it is the overall number of stresses that is most related to child behaviour outcomes,” she said. “Two or fewer stresses during pregnancy are not associated with poor child behavioural development, but as the number increases to three or more, then the risks of more difficult child behaviour increases.”

The actual type of stress experienced was of less importance than the number of stresses, Robinson said, and there was no specific risk associated with the timing of the stressful events—whether they occurred early or late in the pregnancy.

Read more: Stress in Pregnancy Can Cause Behavioural Problems in Children | Canada | Epoch Times

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