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Dev Psychobiol. 2012 May;54(4):441-50. doi: 10.1002/dev.20606. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

High levels of antenatal maternal anxiety are associated with altered cognitive control in five-year-old children.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands. e.m.loomans@uvt.nl

Abstract

This longitudinal prospective study examined the relation between maternal anxiety during pregnancy and specific aspects of children's cognitive functioning at age five. Antenatal maternal state-anxiety was measured around the 16th week of pregnancy. Children's neurocognitive functioning was examined using a simple reaction time (RT) task, and a choice RT task. Multiple regression analyses in the total sample (N = 922) showed that antenatal anxiety was positively related to children's intra-individual variability in RT in the simple task. In a subsample (n = 100) of women with state-anxiety scores above the 90th percentile, antenatal anxiety was positively associated with mean RT and intra-individual variability in RT in the incompatible trials of the choice RT task. In addition, in this subsample of highly anxious mothers we found a significant positive association in boys but not in girls, between prenatal maternal anxiety and intra-individual variability in RT in the simple task.

PMID:
21953508
DOI:
10.1002/dev.20606
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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