Prenatal mood disturbance predicts sleep problems in infancy and toddlerhood

O'Connor, Thomas G.; Caprariello, Peter; Blackmore, Emma Robertson; Gregory, Alice M.; Glover, Vivette and Fleming, Peter. 2007. Prenatal mood disturbance predicts sleep problems in infancy and toddlerhood. Early Human Development, 83(7), pp. 451-458. ISSN 03783782 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Background

Experimental animal data link prenatal stress with sleep disturbance in offspring, but the link in humans is unclear.
Aims

To investigate the link between prenatal maternal anxiety and depression and infant sleep disturbance from 6 to 30 months of age.
Study design

Longitudinal prospective study of a large birth cohort from pregnancy to 30 months. Questionnaire measures of anxiety and depression were completed by mothers at 18 and 32 weeks gestation and at 8 weeks and 8 months postpartum.
Subjects

The ALSPAC cohort, a prospective community study of women in the UK who have been followed since pregnancy.
Outcome measures

Measures of total sleep time, number of awakenings, and broadly defined sleep problems were available on children at ages 6, 18, and 30 months.
Results

Reliable measures of total sleep time, nighttime awakenings, and sleep problems were identified at 6, 18, and 30 months. Higher levels of prenatal maternal anxiety and depression predicted more sleep problems at 18 and 30 months, after controlling for postnatal mood and obstetric and psychosocial covariates; the association was not restricted to clinical extremes. No link with total sleep time was observed.
Conclusions

Mood disturbance in pregnancy has persisting effects on sleep problems in the child, a finding that is consistent with experimental animal research. The findings add to a growing literature showing that maternal prenatal stress, anxiety, and depression may have lasting effects on child development.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2006.08.006

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
2007Published

Item ID:

5187

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2011 13:37

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 15:19

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/5187

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