Multiple negative events before birth could lead to poor mental health


Pregnant woman

Children’s mental health may be affected by their time in the womb

Michael Schelhorn/EyeEm/Getty Images

Children who experienced multiple negative events before birth, such as exposure to alcohol or pre-eclampsia, are at higher risk of experiencing poor mental health a decade later.

Joshua Roffman at Harvard Medical School in Boston and his colleagues asked the parents of almost 10,000 children aged 9 or 10 years whether the children had experienced a range of negative events before birth. They also used a standard child behaviour questionnaire to identify children with mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

The negative events …

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