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Prenatal maternal stress shapes children's theory of mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study.
J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2017 Aug; 8(4):483-492.JD

Abstract

Research shows that stress in pregnancy has powerful and enduring effects on many facets of child development, including increases in behavior problems and neurodevelopmental disorders. Theory of mind is an important aspect of child development that is predictive of successful social functioning and is impaired in children with autism. A number of factors related to individual differences in theory of mind have been identified, but whether theory of mind development is shaped by prenatal events has not yet been examined. In this study we utilized a sudden onset flood that occurred in Queensland, Australia in 2011 to examine whether disaster-related prenatal maternal stress predicts child theory of mind and whether sex of the child or timing of the stressor in pregnancy moderates these effects. Higher levels of flood-related maternal subjective stress, but not objective hardship, predicted worse theory of mind at 30 months (n=130). Further, maternal cognitive appraisal of the flood moderated the effects of stress in pregnancy on girls' theory of mind performance but not boys'. These results illuminate how stress in pregnancy can shape child development and the findings are discussed in relation to biological mechanisms in pregnancy and stress theory.

Authors+Show Affiliations

1Mater Research Institute,University of Queensland,Brisbane,QLD,Australia.1Mater Research Institute,University of Queensland,Brisbane,QLD,Australia.4Schizophrenia and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Program,Douglas Mental Health University Institute,Verdun,QC,Canada.4Schizophrenia and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Program,Douglas Mental Health University Institute,Verdun,QC,Canada.1Mater Research Institute,University of Queensland,Brisbane,QLD,Australia.4Schizophrenia and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Research Program,Douglas Mental Health University Institute,Verdun,QC,Canada.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28337952

Citation

Simcock, G, et al. "Prenatal Maternal Stress Shapes Children's Theory of Mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study." Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, vol. 8, no. 4, 2017, pp. 483-492.
Simcock G, Kildea S, Elgbeili G, et al. Prenatal maternal stress shapes children's theory of mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2017;8(4):483-492.
Simcock, G., Kildea, S., Elgbeili, G., Laplante, D. P., Cobham, V., & King, S. (2017). Prenatal maternal stress shapes children's theory of mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 8(4), 483-492. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2040174417000186
Simcock G, et al. Prenatal Maternal Stress Shapes Children's Theory of Mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2017;8(4):483-492. PubMed PMID: 28337952.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Prenatal maternal stress shapes children's theory of mind: the QF2011 Queensland Flood Study. AU - Simcock,G, AU - Kildea,S, AU - Elgbeili,G, AU - Laplante,D P, AU - Cobham,V, AU - King,S, Y1 - 2017/03/24/ PY - 2017/3/25/pubmed PY - 2018/4/12/medline PY - 2017/3/25/entrez KW - fetal programming KW - natural disasters KW - prenatal stress KW - stress theory KW - theory of mind SP - 483 EP - 492 JF - Journal of developmental origins of health and disease JO - J Dev Orig Health Dis VL - 8 IS - 4 N2 - Research shows that stress in pregnancy has powerful and enduring effects on many facets of child development, including increases in behavior problems and neurodevelopmental disorders. Theory of mind is an important aspect of child development that is predictive of successful social functioning and is impaired in children with autism. A number of factors related to individual differences in theory of mind have been identified, but whether theory of mind development is shaped by prenatal events has not yet been examined. In this study we utilized a sudden onset flood that occurred in Queensland, Australia in 2011 to examine whether disaster-related prenatal maternal stress predicts child theory of mind and whether sex of the child or timing of the stressor in pregnancy moderates these effects. Higher levels of flood-related maternal subjective stress, but not objective hardship, predicted worse theory of mind at 30 months (n=130). Further, maternal cognitive appraisal of the flood moderated the effects of stress in pregnancy on girls' theory of mind performance but not boys'. These results illuminate how stress in pregnancy can shape child development and the findings are discussed in relation to biological mechanisms in pregnancy and stress theory. SN - 2040-1752 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28337952/Prenatal_maternal_stress_shapes_children's_theory_of_mind:_the_QF2011_Queensland_Flood_Study_ L2 - https://www.cambridge.org/core/product/identifier/S2040174417000186/type/journal_article DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -