Prospective relations between prenatal maternal cortisol and child health outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective The aim of the study was to investigate prospective, longitudinal associations between maternal prenatal cortisol response to an interpersonal stressor and child health for the subsequent 3 years. Methods One hundred twenty-three women expecting their first child provided salivary cortisol samples between 12 and 32 weeks of gestation (M (SD) = 22.4 (4.9) weeks) before and after a videotaped couple conflict discussion with their partner. Mothers reported on overall child health and several indicators of child illness (sick doctor visits, fevers, ear, and respiratory infections) when children were 6 months (n = 114), 1 (n = 116), and 3 (n = 105) years old. Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol reactivity and recovery and later child health at each of the three time points were analyzed using longitudinal regression models. Results Greater cortisol reactivity in response to the couple conflict discussion was associated with maternal self-report of better overall child health (p =.016, 95% CI = 0.06-1.30, Cohen's f = 0.045) across the study period. Greater cortisol reactivity was also associated with lower incidence rate ratios for maternal reports of sick doctor visits (incidence rate ratio 95% CI = 0.25-0.83, p =.006), fevers (95% CI = 0.25-0.73, p =.002), ear infections (95% CI = 0.25-0.58, p <.001), and respiratory infections (95% CI = 0.08-1.11, p =.073). Cortisol recovery was unrelated to study outcomes (all p's > 0.05). Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms moderated the association between cortisol reactivity and overall child health (p =.034, 95% CI = 0.07-1.87 for interaction term) but no other health outcomes (p's > 0.05). Among women with lower depressive symptoms, cortisol reactivity was not associated with overall child health; among women with higher levels of depressive symptoms, greater cortisol reactivity was associated with better overall child health. Conclusions This study provides longitudinal evidence that greater maternal cortisol reactivity to a salient interpersonal stressor during pregnancy is associated with fewer child health problems and better maternal report of overall child health during infancy and into early childhood. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT01901536. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)557-565
Number of pages9
JournalPsychosomatic medicine
Volume81
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

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Hydrocortisone
Mothers
Depression
Ear
Fever
Child Health
Maternal Health
Pregnancy
Incidence
Respiratory Tract Infections
Self Report
Longitudinal Studies
Health
Infection

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

@article{e558cddca8f1418a835f02535e2d9036,
title = "Prospective relations between prenatal maternal cortisol and child health outcomes",
abstract = "Objective The aim of the study was to investigate prospective, longitudinal associations between maternal prenatal cortisol response to an interpersonal stressor and child health for the subsequent 3 years. Methods One hundred twenty-three women expecting their first child provided salivary cortisol samples between 12 and 32 weeks of gestation (M (SD) = 22.4 (4.9) weeks) before and after a videotaped couple conflict discussion with their partner. Mothers reported on overall child health and several indicators of child illness (sick doctor visits, fevers, ear, and respiratory infections) when children were 6 months (n = 114), 1 (n = 116), and 3 (n = 105) years old. Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol reactivity and recovery and later child health at each of the three time points were analyzed using longitudinal regression models. Results Greater cortisol reactivity in response to the couple conflict discussion was associated with maternal self-report of better overall child health (p =.016, 95{\%} CI = 0.06-1.30, Cohen's f = 0.045) across the study period. Greater cortisol reactivity was also associated with lower incidence rate ratios for maternal reports of sick doctor visits (incidence rate ratio 95{\%} CI = 0.25-0.83, p =.006), fevers (95{\%} CI = 0.25-0.73, p =.002), ear infections (95{\%} CI = 0.25-0.58, p <.001), and respiratory infections (95{\%} CI = 0.08-1.11, p =.073). Cortisol recovery was unrelated to study outcomes (all p's > 0.05). Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms moderated the association between cortisol reactivity and overall child health (p =.034, 95{\%} CI = 0.07-1.87 for interaction term) but no other health outcomes (p's > 0.05). Among women with lower depressive symptoms, cortisol reactivity was not associated with overall child health; among women with higher levels of depressive symptoms, greater cortisol reactivity was associated with better overall child health. Conclusions This study provides longitudinal evidence that greater maternal cortisol reactivity to a salient interpersonal stressor during pregnancy is associated with fewer child health problems and better maternal report of overall child health during infancy and into early childhood. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT01901536. {\circledC}",
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Prospective relations between prenatal maternal cortisol and child health outcomes. / Roettger, Michael E.; Schreier, Hannah M. C.; Feinberg, Mark Ethan; Jones, Damon Evan.

In: Psychosomatic medicine, Vol. 81, No. 6, 01.07.2019, p. 557-565.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Prospective relations between prenatal maternal cortisol and child health outcomes

AU - Roettger, Michael E.

AU - Schreier, Hannah M. C.

AU - Feinberg, Mark Ethan

AU - Jones, Damon Evan

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Objective The aim of the study was to investigate prospective, longitudinal associations between maternal prenatal cortisol response to an interpersonal stressor and child health for the subsequent 3 years. Methods One hundred twenty-three women expecting their first child provided salivary cortisol samples between 12 and 32 weeks of gestation (M (SD) = 22.4 (4.9) weeks) before and after a videotaped couple conflict discussion with their partner. Mothers reported on overall child health and several indicators of child illness (sick doctor visits, fevers, ear, and respiratory infections) when children were 6 months (n = 114), 1 (n = 116), and 3 (n = 105) years old. Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol reactivity and recovery and later child health at each of the three time points were analyzed using longitudinal regression models. Results Greater cortisol reactivity in response to the couple conflict discussion was associated with maternal self-report of better overall child health (p =.016, 95% CI = 0.06-1.30, Cohen's f = 0.045) across the study period. Greater cortisol reactivity was also associated with lower incidence rate ratios for maternal reports of sick doctor visits (incidence rate ratio 95% CI = 0.25-0.83, p =.006), fevers (95% CI = 0.25-0.73, p =.002), ear infections (95% CI = 0.25-0.58, p <.001), and respiratory infections (95% CI = 0.08-1.11, p =.073). Cortisol recovery was unrelated to study outcomes (all p's > 0.05). Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms moderated the association between cortisol reactivity and overall child health (p =.034, 95% CI = 0.07-1.87 for interaction term) but no other health outcomes (p's > 0.05). Among women with lower depressive symptoms, cortisol reactivity was not associated with overall child health; among women with higher levels of depressive symptoms, greater cortisol reactivity was associated with better overall child health. Conclusions This study provides longitudinal evidence that greater maternal cortisol reactivity to a salient interpersonal stressor during pregnancy is associated with fewer child health problems and better maternal report of overall child health during infancy and into early childhood. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT01901536. ©

AB - Objective The aim of the study was to investigate prospective, longitudinal associations between maternal prenatal cortisol response to an interpersonal stressor and child health for the subsequent 3 years. Methods One hundred twenty-three women expecting their first child provided salivary cortisol samples between 12 and 32 weeks of gestation (M (SD) = 22.4 (4.9) weeks) before and after a videotaped couple conflict discussion with their partner. Mothers reported on overall child health and several indicators of child illness (sick doctor visits, fevers, ear, and respiratory infections) when children were 6 months (n = 114), 1 (n = 116), and 3 (n = 105) years old. Associations between maternal prenatal cortisol reactivity and recovery and later child health at each of the three time points were analyzed using longitudinal regression models. Results Greater cortisol reactivity in response to the couple conflict discussion was associated with maternal self-report of better overall child health (p =.016, 95% CI = 0.06-1.30, Cohen's f = 0.045) across the study period. Greater cortisol reactivity was also associated with lower incidence rate ratios for maternal reports of sick doctor visits (incidence rate ratio 95% CI = 0.25-0.83, p =.006), fevers (95% CI = 0.25-0.73, p =.002), ear infections (95% CI = 0.25-0.58, p <.001), and respiratory infections (95% CI = 0.08-1.11, p =.073). Cortisol recovery was unrelated to study outcomes (all p's > 0.05). Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms moderated the association between cortisol reactivity and overall child health (p =.034, 95% CI = 0.07-1.87 for interaction term) but no other health outcomes (p's > 0.05). Among women with lower depressive symptoms, cortisol reactivity was not associated with overall child health; among women with higher levels of depressive symptoms, greater cortisol reactivity was associated with better overall child health. Conclusions This study provides longitudinal evidence that greater maternal cortisol reactivity to a salient interpersonal stressor during pregnancy is associated with fewer child health problems and better maternal report of overall child health during infancy and into early childhood. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov ID NCT01901536. ©

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