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Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels.
J Psychosom Res. 2013 Oct; 75(4):351-7.JP

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation during pregnancy is linked to dysfunctional behavioral outcomes in the offspring. According to Belsky's differential susceptibility hypothesis, individuals vary regarding their developmental plasticity. Translating the differential susceptibility hypothesis to the field of fetal programming, we hypothesize that infants' temperament, as the constitutionally based reactivity to stimulation, moderates prenatal environmental effects on postnatal emotion regulation.

METHODS

Maternal HPA axis activity and stress-reactivity during pregnancy was estimated, by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva, collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 min after awakening and in blood, collected during a laboratory stress test (Trier Social Stress Test), respectively. Newborns reactivity to stimulation was evaluated between postnatal day 10 and 14 using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Infant's self-quieting-activities, as an indicator of emotion regulation, were evaluated at the age of six months during the still face paradigm.

RESULTS

Maternal cortisol reactivity to stress during pregnancy was associated with infant's emotion regulation at the age of six months. Whereas cortisol levels after awakening in mid and late pregnancy were not associated with emotion regulation. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that in interaction with neonatal reactivity, both, prenatal maternal HPA activity as well as prenatal maternal HPA reactivity to stress predicted emotion regulation.

CONCLUSION

The findings indicate that newborns' reactivity to stimulation is moderating the association between prenatal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids and emotion regulation in infancy. Data suggests that temperamental characteristics of the newborn are a relevant differential susceptibility factor with regard to prenatal effects on emotion regulation.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Psychiatric University Clinics of Basel, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Switzerland; sesam - Swiss Etiological Study of Adjustment Mental Health, National Centre of Competence in Research, Faculty of Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland. Electronic address: margarete.bolten@upkbs.ch.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24119942

Citation

Bolten, Margarete, et al. "Prenatal Programming of Emotion Regulation: Neonatal Reactivity as a Differential Susceptibility Factor Moderating the Outcome of Prenatal Cortisol Levels." Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. 75, no. 4, 2013, pp. 351-7.
Bolten M, Nast I, Skrundz M, et al. Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(4):351-7.
Bolten, M., Nast, I., Skrundz, M., Stadler, C., Hellhammer, D. H., & Meinlschmidt, G. (2013). Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 75(4), 351-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.04.014
Bolten M, et al. Prenatal Programming of Emotion Regulation: Neonatal Reactivity as a Differential Susceptibility Factor Moderating the Outcome of Prenatal Cortisol Levels. J Psychosom Res. 2013;75(4):351-7. PubMed PMID: 24119942.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prenatal programming of emotion regulation: neonatal reactivity as a differential susceptibility factor moderating the outcome of prenatal cortisol levels. AU - Bolten,Margarete, AU - Nast,Irina, AU - Skrundz,Marta, AU - Stadler,Christina, AU - Hellhammer,Dirk H, AU - Meinlschmidt,Gunther, Y1 - 2013/08/09/ PY - 2013/03/07/received PY - 2013/04/23/revised PY - 2013/04/29/accepted PY - 2013/10/15/entrez PY - 2013/10/15/pubmed PY - 2014/6/24/medline KW - AUC(i) KW - Emotion-regulation KW - HPA axis KW - Infancy KW - NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale KW - NNNS KW - Prenatal stress KW - Reactivity KW - Temperament KW - area under the curve with respect to increase KW - hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis SP - 351 EP - 7 JF - Journal of psychosomatic research JO - J Psychosom Res VL - 75 IS - 4 N2 - OBJECTIVE: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation during pregnancy is linked to dysfunctional behavioral outcomes in the offspring. According to Belsky's differential susceptibility hypothesis, individuals vary regarding their developmental plasticity. Translating the differential susceptibility hypothesis to the field of fetal programming, we hypothesize that infants' temperament, as the constitutionally based reactivity to stimulation, moderates prenatal environmental effects on postnatal emotion regulation. METHODS: Maternal HPA axis activity and stress-reactivity during pregnancy was estimated, by measuring cortisol concentrations in saliva, collected at 0, 30, 45 and 60 min after awakening and in blood, collected during a laboratory stress test (Trier Social Stress Test), respectively. Newborns reactivity to stimulation was evaluated between postnatal day 10 and 14 using the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Network Neurobehavioral Scale. Infant's self-quieting-activities, as an indicator of emotion regulation, were evaluated at the age of six months during the still face paradigm. RESULTS: Maternal cortisol reactivity to stress during pregnancy was associated with infant's emotion regulation at the age of six months. Whereas cortisol levels after awakening in mid and late pregnancy were not associated with emotion regulation. Furthermore, regression analyses revealed that in interaction with neonatal reactivity, both, prenatal maternal HPA activity as well as prenatal maternal HPA reactivity to stress predicted emotion regulation. CONCLUSION: The findings indicate that newborns' reactivity to stimulation is moderating the association between prenatal exposure to maternal glucocorticoids and emotion regulation in infancy. Data suggests that temperamental characteristics of the newborn are a relevant differential susceptibility factor with regard to prenatal effects on emotion regulation. SN - 1879-1360 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24119942/Prenatal_programming_of_emotion_regulation:_neonatal_reactivity_as_a_differential_susceptibility_factor_moderating_the_outcome_of_prenatal_cortisol_levels_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0022-3999(13)00277-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -