This longitudinal study examines links among adolescent internalizing and externalizing symptoms, the prenatal environment (e.g., nicotine exposure) and pre/perinatal maternal health, and cardiovascular risk factors. Girls (N = 262) ages 11-17 reported internalizing and externalizing behaviors and mothers reported about the prenatal environment and maternal health during pregnancy and 3 months post-pregnancy. Adolescent cardiovascular risk included adiposity, smoking, blood pressure, and salivary C-reactive protein. Internalizing symptoms mediated relations between prenatal exposures/maternal health and adiposity; externalizing symptoms mediated relations between prenatal exposures and adolescent smoking. Health care providers who attend to internalizing and externalizing symptoms in girls may ultimately influence cardiovascular health, especially among those with pre/perinatal risk factors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology