Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 442–451 | Cite as

Correlates of Prenatal Alcohol Use

  • Laurie L. Meschke
  • Wendy Hellerstedt
  • Joyce A. Holl
  • Sara Messelt


Objectives: To identify correlates of prenatal alcohol use in a statewide population-based sample. Methods: A self-reported survey was conducted in 67 prenatal clinics in Minnesota with 4,272 women at their first prenatal visit. Chi-squared and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify risk markers associated with any prenatal alcohol use. Results: Nearly 27% of the respondents were calculated as having used alcohol during pregnancy. In multivariable analyses, the following were risk markers for prenatal alcohol use: older age, being unmarried, lower gravidity, greater depressed mood, currently smoking, exposure to intrapersonal violence, a history of not remembering things because of alcohol use, and feelings that the respondent should reduce her drinking. Subsequent analyses revealed that the association of intrapersonal violence with prenatal drinking was mediated by whether the woman reported that she did not remember things while drinking or that the woman felt she should reduce her drinking. Conclusions: The demographic and behavioral correlates reported here are consistent with previous research. The significance of two alcohol behavioral factors (i.e., not remembering things and feeling that she should reduce her drinking) suggest that the women who drank during pregnancy would likely have substance abuse issues.


Prenatal alcohol use Pregnancy Substance use 



This publication was made possible by cooperative agreement number 6KD1 SP09199-01-01 from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Grant and P20 MD000544, “Developing Research infrastructure for Health Disparities at San Francisco State University”, from the NIH National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities to San Francisco State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laurie L. Meschke
    • 1
  • Wendy Hellerstedt
    • 2
  • Joyce A. Holl
    • 3
    • 4
  • Sara Messelt
    • 3
  1. 1.Child and Adolescent Development ProgramSan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public HealthUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  3. 3.Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol SyndromeSt. PaulUSA
  4. 4.National Orientation Directors AssociationUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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