Infant Temperament: Repercussions of Superstorm Sandy-Related Maternal Stress
This study recruited a prospective cohort of 380 pregnant women before, during, or after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to examine the association between disaster-related pre- and post-natal maternal stress and offspring temperament at 6 months-old. Mothers prospectively reported stressful experiences during the storm and rated their child’s temperament 6 months postpartum. Results indicated that length of time without phone or electricity and financial loss was associated with offspring negative affect, whereas financial loss and threat of death or injury was associated with emotion dysregulation. Furthermore, offspring born before the storm had greater negative affect and lower emotion regulation than those born after the storm. Given the probable increase in the occurrence of natural disasters due to climate change in recent years (McCarthy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: contribution of Working Group II to the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001), our results highlight the necessity of education and planning to help ameliorate any potential consequences on the developing infant.
KeywordsPrenatal maternal stress Early life stress Temperament Natural disaster Infant development
This study was supported by National Institute of Mental Health (US) (Grant No. R01 MH102729).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
We have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
All research had approval from the appropriate Institutional Review Board and is in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
Informed consent was obtained from all participants.
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