Maternal Stress during Pregnancy and the Behavior of the Offspring

  • Matti O. Huttunen
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


Proverbs in old Finnish folklore say that maternal psychological stress during pregnancy results in the newborn child having a timid temperament. In this chapter I would like to review my own research which strongly supports these old ideas. Thus, the results of both experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that especially during months 3 to 6 of pregnancy, maternal stress may affect the temperament of the child and increase its risk of psychiatric and behavioral disorders.


Maternal Stress Pregnant Mother Newborn Child Prospective Epidemiological Study Infant Temperament 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matti O. Huttunen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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