Influence of in utero exposure to maternal depression and natural disaster-related stress on infant temperament at 6 months: The children of Superstorm Sandy

Yoko Nomura, Kei Davey, Patricia M. Pehme, Jackie Finik, Vivette Glover, Wei Zhang, Yonglin Huang, Jessica Buthmann, Kathryn Dana, Sachiko Yoshida, Kenji J. Tsuchiya, Xiao Bo Li, Jacob Ham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of in utero exposure to maternal depression and Superstorm Sandy, a hurricane that hit metropolitan New York in 2012, on infant temperament at 6 months. Temperament was assessed using the Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised. Maternal depression was measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The main effects and the interaction of maternal depression and Sandy exposure on infant temperament were examined using a multivariable generalized linear model. Results show that prenatal maternal depression was associated with lower emotion regulation and greater distress. Stratification and interaction analyses suggested that the adverse effects of prenatal maternal depression on problematic temperament were amplified by in utero Sandy exposure. This study underscores the importance of providing prenatal screening and treatment for maternal depression during pregnancy while also identifying high-risk families who may have suffered from disaster-related traumas to provide necessary services. As the frequency of natural disasters may increase due to climate change, it is important to understand the consequences of in utero stress on child development and to formulate plans for early identification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Keywords

  • Depression während der Schwangerschaft
  • Gran Tormenta Sandy
  • Super-tempête Sandy
  • Superstorm Sandy
  • Supersturm Sandy
  • Säuglingstemperament
  • depresión durante el embarazo
  • depression during pregnancy
  • dépression durant la grossesse
  • estrés traumático
  • estudio prospectivo
  • infant temperament
  • prospective study
  • prospektive Studie
  • stress traumatique
  • temperamento del infante
  • tempérament du bébé
  • traumatic stress
  • traumatischer Stress
  • étude prospective

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