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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 Jan;7(1):146-63. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7010146. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and offspring externalizing behavioral problems: a propensity score matching analysis.

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College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341-2296, USA.


A body of empirical research has revealed that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke is related to a host of negative outcomes, including reduced cognitive abilities, later-life health problems, and childhood behavioral problems. While these findings are often interpreted as evidence of the causal role that prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke has on human phenotypes, emerging evidence has suggested that the association between prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke and behavioral phenotypes may be spurious. The current analysis of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) revealed that the association between prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke and externalizing behavioral problems was fully accounted for by confounding factors. The implications that these findings have for policy and research are discussed.


behavioral problems; childhood; cigarette; prenatal; smoking

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