Effects of Maternal Smoking during Pregnancy on Offspring Externalizing Problems: Contextual Effects in a Sample of Female Twins

Rohan H.C. Palmer, L. Cinnamon Bidwell, Andrew C. Heath, Leslie A. Brick, Pamela A.F. Madden, Valerie S. Knopik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Studies of maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) suggest increased risk for cognitive impairment and psychiatric outcomes. However, it is uncertain whether these associations are the direct result of MSDP or related to confounding familial variables associated with MSDP. The current study employed propensity score analysis to examine the effects of MSDP on offspring EXT using data from a large sample of 979 unrelated mothers. Logistic regression models were used to determine the propensity that the offspring of these mothers were likely to be exposed to MSDP [i.e., smoked during only the first trimester (MSDP-EARLY[E]) or smoked throughout their pregnancy (MSDP-THROUGHOUT[T])] given known familial confounders. Analyses focused on the effect of MSDP-E/T on the EXT behavior in offspring of these mothers (N = 1616) were conducted across the distribution of liability for MSDP-E/T and at different levels of risk for MSDP-E/T. MSDP-E/T was associated with offspring EXT problems, but the effects were partly confounded by the familial liability for MSDP. Further, the observed effects were not consistent across all levels of the MSDP risk distribution. These findings suggest a direct association between MSDP and offspring EXT behaviors, and that varied associations observed across studies may be the result of differences in the level of familial confounders that also have an effect on offspring EXT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-415
Number of pages13
JournalBehavior genetics
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2016

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Conduct disorder
  • Smoking during pregnancy
  • Tobacco dependence

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