Antenatal maternal anxiety is linked with atypical handedness in the child

  • Glover V
  • O'Connor T
  • Heron J
 et al. 
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Animal studies have shown that prenatal stress is linked with altered laterality in the offspring. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that antenatal maternal anxiety was associated with altered lateralisation in children, as demonstrated by mixed handedness. We used the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a prospective longitudinal study that has followed women since pregnancy. The final analysis included data on 7431 mother-child pairs. Maternal anxiety was measured at 18- and 32-week gestation and 8 weeks postnatally using a self-report inventory. Child handedness was assessed at 42 months using an established maternal report scale. Information on maternal and paternal handedness, as well as data on possible confounding variables such as obstetric and antenatal risks, were also assessed. Univariable analysis showed that antenatal anxiety at 18 weeks was associated with mixed-handedness in the child, OR=1.28 (95% CI 1.09-1.50, p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Antenatal maternal anxiety
  • Atypical handedness
  • Prenatal stress

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