European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 21, Issue 11, pp 635–644 | Cite as

Smoking during pregnancy and psychiatric disorders in preschoolers

  • Lise Carol Ellis
  • Turid Suzanne Berg-Nielsen
  • Stian Lydersen
  • Lars Wichstrøm
Original Contribution


The overall objective of this study was to determine whether smoking during pregnancy is related to psychiatric disorders in 4-year-olds while controlling for a wide range of potential confounding variables (i.e. parental anxiety, depression, personality disorders, drug abuse, and socio-economic characteristics). Parents of a community sample of 4-year-olds (N = 995) residing in the city of Trondheim, Norway were interviewed using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment, which includes information on prenatal smoking. After adjusting for potential confounding variables using the propensity score, smoking during pregnancy was found to increase the odds for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) OR = 2.59 (CI 1.5–4.34, p < 0.001), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) OR = 2.69 (CI 1.84–3.91, p = 0.02) and comorbid OR = 2.55 (CI 1.24–5.23, p < 0.001). Prenatal smoking during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for symptoms of ADHD and ODD independently of each other, in 4-year-olds.


Prenatal smoking ADHD ODD Internalising disorders Preschool children 



This research was funded by grants 185519/V50, 185760/V50, and 190622/V50 from the Research Council of Norway and from grant 4396 from the Liaison Committee between the Central Norway RHA and Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lise Carol Ellis
    • 1
  • Turid Suzanne Berg-Nielsen
    • 2
  • Stian Lydersen
    • 2
  • Lars Wichstrøm
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.NTNU Social Science, Department of PsychologyNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)TrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Regional Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental HealthNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of Child Psychiatry, Central Regional Health Authority (RHA)St. Olavs HospitalTrondheimNorway

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