Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Infant stress reactivity and prenatal alcohol exposure.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006 Dec; 30(12):2055-64.AC

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Animal studies have shown that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is linked to alterations in the stress response systems. To date, little is known about the impact of PAE on stress systems in human infants. The current study examined PAE effects on the stress response, as evidenced by the activation of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (L-HPA) axis and autonomic system and changes in negative affect during a social-emotional challenge in human infants. We also examined whether the effects of PAE on infant responsiveness differed in boys and girls.

METHODS

Measures of cortisol, heart rate, and negative affect were obtained during a modified version of Tronick's still-face procedure, a standardized developmental paradigm used to study emotion and stress regulation. Our sample included fifty-five 5- to 7-month-old infants whose mothers were enrolled in an alcohol intervention study. Measures of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and after delivery were obtained using Timeline Followback interviewing methods. Relationships between prenatal alcohol consumption and infant outcomes were examined. In addition, mothers were divided into high and low-frequency drinkers, based on the mean percent of prenatal drinking days (PDD) to facilitate between-group comparisons of infant stress measures.

RESULTS

Mothers enrolled in our study reported significant reductions in alcohol consumption after learning of their pregnancies. Nevertheless, PDD from conception to pregnancy recognition was related to increases in cortisol reactivity, elevated heart rate, and negative affect in their infants. The effects of PAE on infant responsiveness were significant after controlling for the effects of maternal depression and annual income. In addition, the effects of PAE on cortisol reactivity differed for boys and girls.

CONCLUSIONS

Greater PAE was related to greater activation of stress response systems. Our findings suggest that PAE affects the development of infant stress systems and that these effects differ in boys and girls. This work supports the possibility that PAE is related to alterations in infant stress systems, which could underlie problems in cognitive and social-emotional functioning that are common among persons exposed prenatally to alcohol.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. haley@utsc.utoronto.caNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17117971

Citation

Haley, David W., et al. "Infant Stress Reactivity and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure." Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 30, no. 12, 2006, pp. 2055-64.
Haley DW, Handmaker NS, Lowe J. Infant stress reactivity and prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006;30(12):2055-64.
Haley, D. W., Handmaker, N. S., & Lowe, J. (2006). Infant stress reactivity and prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 30(12), 2055-64.
Haley DW, Handmaker NS, Lowe J. Infant Stress Reactivity and Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006;30(12):2055-64. PubMed PMID: 17117971.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Infant stress reactivity and prenatal alcohol exposure. AU - Haley,David W, AU - Handmaker,Nancy S, AU - Lowe,Jean, PY - 2006/11/23/pubmed PY - 2007/1/20/medline PY - 2006/11/23/entrez SP - 2055 EP - 64 JF - Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research JO - Alcohol Clin Exp Res VL - 30 IS - 12 N2 - BACKGROUND: Animal studies have shown that prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) is linked to alterations in the stress response systems. To date, little is known about the impact of PAE on stress systems in human infants. The current study examined PAE effects on the stress response, as evidenced by the activation of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (L-HPA) axis and autonomic system and changes in negative affect during a social-emotional challenge in human infants. We also examined whether the effects of PAE on infant responsiveness differed in boys and girls. METHODS: Measures of cortisol, heart rate, and negative affect were obtained during a modified version of Tronick's still-face procedure, a standardized developmental paradigm used to study emotion and stress regulation. Our sample included fifty-five 5- to 7-month-old infants whose mothers were enrolled in an alcohol intervention study. Measures of maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and after delivery were obtained using Timeline Followback interviewing methods. Relationships between prenatal alcohol consumption and infant outcomes were examined. In addition, mothers were divided into high and low-frequency drinkers, based on the mean percent of prenatal drinking days (PDD) to facilitate between-group comparisons of infant stress measures. RESULTS: Mothers enrolled in our study reported significant reductions in alcohol consumption after learning of their pregnancies. Nevertheless, PDD from conception to pregnancy recognition was related to increases in cortisol reactivity, elevated heart rate, and negative affect in their infants. The effects of PAE on infant responsiveness were significant after controlling for the effects of maternal depression and annual income. In addition, the effects of PAE on cortisol reactivity differed for boys and girls. CONCLUSIONS: Greater PAE was related to greater activation of stress response systems. Our findings suggest that PAE affects the development of infant stress systems and that these effects differ in boys and girls. This work supports the possibility that PAE is related to alterations in infant stress systems, which could underlie problems in cognitive and social-emotional functioning that are common among persons exposed prenatally to alcohol. SN - 0145-6008 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17117971/Infant_stress_reactivity_and_prenatal_alcohol_exposure_ L2 - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/openurl?genre=article&sid=nlm:pubmed&issn=0145-6008&date=2006&volume=30&issue=12&spage=2055 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -