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Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 38(5):310-321, June 2017
The Queensland Flood Study (QF2011) took advantage of a severe flood in Queensland, Australia to investigate the effects of disaster-related prenatal maternal stress on temperament characteristics at 6-months-old. Results showed that mothers’ subjective stress reactions and cognitive appraisal of the disaster while pregnant were associated with easier aspects of temperament in their infants. However, with higher levels of hardship in pregnancy, boys (but not girls) were rated as more irritable. Higher levels of hardship in early pregnancy also predicted more arrhythmic behavior. Finally, mothers whose emotional response to the flood exceeded the hardship they endured reported more active-reactive infants.
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