Project Ice Storm: Prenatal Maternal Stress Affects Cognitive and Linguistic Functioning in 5½-Year-Old Children

Project Ice Storm: Prenatal Maternal Stress Affects Cognitive and Linguistic Functioning in 5½-Year-Old Children

Project Ice Storm: Prenatal Maternal Stress Affects Cognitive and Linguistic Functioning in 5½-Year-Old Children

Project Ice Storm: Prenatal Maternal Stress Affects Cognitive and Linguistic Functioning in 5½-Year-Old Childrens

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Référence bibliographique [1861]

Laplante, David P., Brunet, Alain, Schmitz, Norbert, Ciampi, Antonio et King, Suzanne. 2008. «Project Ice Storm: Prenatal Maternal Stress Affects Cognitive and Linguistic Functioning in 5½-Year-Old Children ». Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 47, no 9, p. 1063-1072.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This was a prospective study designed to determine the extent to which the degree of exposure to prenatal maternal stress [PNMS] due to a natural disaster explains variance in the intellectual and language performance of offspring at age 52 while controlling for several potential confounding variables.» (p. 1036)

Questions/Hypothèses :
«We hypothesized that children born to mothers who experienced high levels of PNMS would exhibit poorer general intellectual and language functioning than their low-stress counterparts, after controlling for past and present maternal psychological functioning, past and present maternal life events, maternal postpartum depression, obstetric complications, SES, and the children’s ponderal index and gestational age. We expected that the effects of PNMS would be greatest in children whose mothers were exposed to the ice storm early in their pregnancies.» (p. 1036)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
89 5½-year-old children whose mothers were pregnant during the January 1998 ice storm crisis in Québec

Instruments :
Storm32 Questionnaire
Impact of Events Scale-Revised
Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised
Other questionnaires

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«Children exposed in utero to high levels of objective stress had lower Full Scale IQs, Verbal IQs, and language abilities compared to children exposed to low or moderate levels of objective prenatal maternal stress; there were no effects of subjective stress or objective stress on Performance IQs. Trend analyses show that for all outcome variables except Block Design, there was a significant curvilinear association between objective stress and functioning.» (p. 1063) Thus, the authors conclude that «[p]renatal exposure to a moderately severe natural disaster is associated with lower cognitive and language abilities at 51/2 years of age.» (p. 1063) «Although the present study is unable to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the observed differences in intellectual and linguistic abilities, [the authors] suspect that exposure to high levels of objective PNMS may have altered fetal neurodevelopment, thereby influencing the expression of the children’s neurobehavioral abilities in early childhood.» (p. 1071)