- Risk factors occurring during pregnancy and birth in relation to brain functioning and child’s anxiety
- Journal of Anxiety Disorders
- Volume | Issue number
- 23 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
Objective: This study examined whether the most objective risk factors during pregnancy (prenatal) and delivery (perinatal) precede child's anxiety, and whether these factors exerted their influence via child's non-specific cerebral functioning.
Method: Median-anxious (n = 82) and high-anxious (n = 188) children (8-12), enrolled via the use of an anxiety screening questionnaire. Mothers were interviewed on pre-/perinatal risk factors, and children completed a visuospatial copying task.
Results: High-anxious children were exposed to more prenatal (not perinatal) risk factors and deviated more on the visuospatial copying task. Prenatal risk factors, deviation on visuospatial copying, and their interaction were significant predictors of anxiety, accounting for 13.5% of the variance of anxiety.
Conclusions: This percentage is impressive, given the fact that anxiety emerges from various combinations of risk factors and nature-nurture interactions. This study underlined the importance of considering risk factors occurring during pregnancy in relation to child anxiety and brain functioning.
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