Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Adolesc Health. 2009 Aug;45(2):142-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2008.12.003. Epub 2009 Mar 19.

Parsing the associations between prenatal exposure to nicotine and offspring psychopathology in a nonreferred sample.

Author information

  • 1Clinical and Research Programs in Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Adult ADHD, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



Several studies have suggested an association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and both attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder (CD) in the offspring of women who smoke during pregnancy. However, it is unclear whether one or both of the documented links are spurious, given the considerable comorbidity between these disorders. The main aim of this study was to disentangle the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy with psychopathological outcomes, adjusting for possible confounders.


Two large, identically designed, longitudinal, case-control family studies of male and female probands with and without ADHD were combined. We used data from the nonreferred siblings of the probands from both studies (n = 536). All subjects were blindly assessed with structured diagnostic interviews. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the adjusted effect of exposure to maternal smoking during pregnancy.


Among all siblings, maternal smoking during pregnancy was significantly associated with ADHD, independent of CD and other covariates. In contrast, maternal smoking during pregnancy was a risk factor for CD only in siblings of control probands, after adjusting for covariates.


These results support the hypothesis that maternal smoking during pregnancy is a risk factor for both ADHD and CD, independently of each other. However, the risk for CD appears to be conditional on family risk status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center