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Am J Public Health. 2002 Jun;92(6):966-74.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy and severe antisocial behavior in offspring: a review.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. laurie@yoda.bsd.uchicago.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Recent research suggests that in utero exposure to maternal smoking is a risk factor for conduct disorder and delinquency. We review evidence of causality, a controversial but important public health question.

METHODS:

We analyzed studies of maternal prenatal smoking and offspring antisocial behavior within a causal framework.

RESULTS:

The association is (1) independent of confounders, (2) present across diverse contexts, and (3) consistent with basic science. Methodological limitations of existing studies preclude causal conclusions.

CONCLUSIONS:

Existing evidence provides consistent support for, but not proof of, an etiologic role for prenatal smoking in the onset of antisocial behavior. The possibility of identifying a preventable prenatal risk factor for a serious mental disorder makes further research on this topic important for public health.

PMID:
12036791
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1447496
Free PMC Article
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