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Dev Psychobiol. 2016 Jul;58(5):578-99. doi: 10.1002/dev.21403. Epub 2016 Mar 8.

Developmental origins of infant stress reactivity profiles: A multi-system approach.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.
2
Faculty of Nursing and Cumming School of Medicine (Pediatrics and Psychiatry), University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.
3
Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.
4
Institute for Interdisciplinary Saliva Bioscience Research, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287.
5
Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine, The John Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD, 21205.
6
Department of Pediatrics, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, T2N 1N4, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study tested the hypothesis that maternal physiological and psychological variables during pregnancy discriminate between theoretically informed infant stress reactivity profiles.

METHODS:

The sample comprised 254 women and their infants. Maternal mood, salivary cortisol, respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and salivary α-amylase (sAA) were assessed at 15 and 32 weeks gestational age. Infant salivary cortisol, RSA, and sAA reactivity were assessed in response to a structured laboratory frustration task at 6 months of age. Infant responses were used to classify them into stress reactivity profiles using three different classification schemes: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis, autonomic, and multi-system. Discriminant function analyses evaluated the prenatal variables that best discriminated infant reactivity profiles within each classification scheme.

RESULTS:

Maternal stress biomarkers, along with self-reported psychological distress during pregnancy, discriminated between infant stress reactivity profiles.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that maternal psychological and physiological states during pregnancy have broad effects on the development of the infant stress response systems. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Dev Psychobiol 58: 578-599, 2016.

KEYWORDS:

fetal programming; psychological distress; respiratory sinus arrhythmia; salivary cortisol; salivary α-amylase; stress reactivity

PMID:
26956370
DOI:
10.1002/dev.21403
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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