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Early maternal stress and health behaviours and offspring expression of psychosis in adolescence

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Spauwen J, Krabbendam L, Lieb R, Wittchen HU, van Os J. Early maternal stress and health behaviours and offspring expression of psychosis in adolescence.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2004: 110: 356–364. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2004. Objective: 

It has been suggested that influences operating early in life may affect the risk of postpubertal psychosis outcomes. This hypothesis was tested using a broad outcome of psychotic symptoms expressed in adolescence (prevalence: 15.6%). Method: 

Findings are based on a longitudinal, population-based cohort study of 963 adolescents aged 15–20 years and their parents in the area of Munich, Germany. Trained psychologists assessed adolescents with the Munich-Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Independently, direct diagnostic interviews were conducted with the parents. Results: 

A range of medical complications of pregnancy and delivery, including lower birth weight, were not associated with the psychosis outcome. However, a number of maternal health behaviours and experiences did show associations, independent of confounders. Conclusion: 

Not maternally reported medical complications of pregnancy and delivery, but maternal prenatal health behaviours predicted expression of psychosis along a continuum in adolescence. This effect may either be direct or constitute a proxy for later postnatal maternal behaviours associated with psychosis risk in the offspring.
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Keywords: adolescent; cohort study; maternal behaviour; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, South Limburg Mental Health Research and Teaching Network, EURON, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands 2: Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology and Epidemiology Unit, Kraepelinstrasse 2, Munich

Publication date: 01 November 2004

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