Maternal smoking during pregnancy, behavioral problems and school performances of their school-aged children.


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KUKLA Lubomír HRUBÁ Drahoslava TYRLÍK Mojmír

Year of publication 2008
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Central European Journal of Public Health
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Paediatry
Keywords maternal smoking; pregnancy;behaviour problems; ELSPAC
Description Child behavior and school performance is influenced by many genetic and environmental factors including prenatal exposure to chemical neurotoxins contained in cigarette smoke. The European Longitudinal Study of Pregnancy and Childhood ( ELSPAC) prospective study which in the Czech republic incorporates a cohort of children born in the years 1991/92 in Brno and the Znojmo ditrict also allows to analyze the relationships between prenatal cigarette smoke exposure and the occurence of behavior and learning disorders. Using questionnaires repeatedly filled in by teachers and investigation protocols performed by research team workers data for the Brno sample of children was collected on the occurence of signs indicating more serious problems with school assigment fulfilling and behavior disorders in the childrens 8, 11, 13 years of age. According to mothers statements about their smoking behavior during pregnancy, the children were divided into two groups: prenatally exposed and non-exposed. The frequency differences of individual traits were evaluated in the SPSS statistical program. In the ELSPAC study set the occurence of inferior schoolwork performence evaluated based on term-report grades was more frequent in children prenatally exposed to mothers smoking, along with more frequently diagnosed disorders which to significant extent implicate these inferior results and also special care needs occurred more frequently when compared to their peers born to non-smoking mothers. In the prenatally exposed subset also more frequent occurrence of various signs characterizing behavior disorders including attention disorders, hyperactivity, agressiveness and signs of delinquency behavior were recorded. The Czech ELSPAC cohort confirmed the results of other studies; within it was documented that children born to smoking mothers have more frequent behavioral problems and problems with fulfilling their school assigments in the school age period.
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