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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Jul;47(7):779-87. doi: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e318172eefb.

Prenatal smoking and internalizing and externalizing problems in children studied from childhood to late adolescence.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To study whether prenatal smoking only relates to externalizing problems or whether it is associated with both internalizing and externalizing problems from childhood into late adolescence.

METHOD:

Child Behavior Checklist-derived, parent-reported internalizing and externalizing problems of 396 children were longitudinally assessed at ages 5, 10 to 11, and 18 years. The influence of self-reported prenatal smoking on the course of internalizing and externalizing problems over these ages was assessed, controlling for the co-occurrence of internalizing and externalizing problems and co-occurring pre- and perinatal risk factors, demographic characteristics, maternal mental health, and child social and attention problems.

RESULTS:

Children whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy had increased levels of both internalizing and externalizing problems over the period of ages 5 to 18 years when compared with children whose mothers did not smoke during pregnancy. These associations remained significant after controlling internalizing for externalizing and vice versa and possible confounding variables.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal smoking during pregnancy is a predictor of internalizing as well as externalizing psychopathology in offspring. The association between prenatal smoking and internalizing and externalizing problems persists throughout childhood and late adolescence.

PMID:
18520960
DOI:
10.1097/CHI.0b013e318172eefb
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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