Parent-child interactions in early life mediating association between prenatal maternal stress and autistic-like behaviors among preschoolers

Article


Chen, Ying-Jie, Strodl, Esben, Hou, Xiang-Yu, Wu, Chuan-an, Chen, Jing-Yi, Huang, Li-Hua, Yin, Xiao-Na, Wen, Guo-Min, Sun, Deng-Li, Xian, Dan-Xia, Yang, Gui-You and Chen, Wei-Qing. 2023. "Parent-child interactions in early life mediating association between prenatal maternal stress and autistic-like behaviors among preschoolers." Psychology, Health and Medicine. 28 (8), pp. 2156-2168. https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2022.2070226
Article Title

Parent-child interactions in early life mediating association between prenatal maternal stress and autistic-like behaviors among preschoolers

ERA Journal ID6612
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsChen, Ying-Jie, Strodl, Esben, Hou, Xiang-Yu, Wu, Chuan-an, Chen, Jing-Yi, Huang, Li-Hua, Yin, Xiao-Na, Wen, Guo-Min, Sun, Deng-Li, Xian, Dan-Xia, Yang, Gui-You and Chen, Wei-Qing
Journal TitlePsychology, Health and Medicine
Journal Citation28 (8), pp. 2156-2168
Number of Pages13
Year2023
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1354-8506
1465-3966
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2022.2070226
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13548506.2022.2070226
Abstract

A range of studies have shown that prenatal maternal stress (PNMS) exposure is associated with offspring autistic-like behaviors, however the potential pathways remain unexplored. This study aimed to evaluate the mediating role of parent-child interactions in early life in the association between PNMS exposure and preschoolers’ autistic-like behaviors. Data from 65,928 child-parent dyads were obtained via a primary caregiver-reported questionnaire administered as part of the Longhua Child Cohort Study. To strengthen confidence in the reliability of the results, the analyses were initially conducted on a random selection of 70% of the total sample, and then validated on the remaining 30% of the sample. Analysis of covariance and multiple linear models were employed to estimate the associations between PNMS exposure, parent-child interactions in early life, and children’s autistic-like behaviors. The results showed that PNMS exposure was positively associated with the presence of autistic-like behaviors at preschool age. The total indirect effect of the frequency of positive parent-child interactions in early life accounted for 9.69% or 8.99% of the variance of the association. Our findings indicate that parent-child interactions in early life might function as potential mediators of the association between PNMS and the increased risk of offspring autistic-like behaviors.

Keywordsmediation; preschoolers; parent-child interaction; autistic-like behaviors; Prenatal maternal stress
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Byline AffiliationsSun Yat-sen University, China
Queensland University of Technology
University of Southern Queensland
Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Longhua New District of Shenzhen, China
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