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Prenatal Smoking Leads To Antisocial Behavior In Children

San Diego, CA -- Children exposed to prenatal smoking tend to show antisocial tendencies by adolescence, University of Chicago researchers reported Friday.

Lauren S. Wakschlag, Ph.D., and Sydney L. Hans, Ph.D. presented data indicating that children whose mothers smoked before the children were born engage in behaviors such as vandalism and physical cruelty by adolescence, with the symptoms emerging by the age of 10. Wakschlag presented the findings to the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, a worldwide assembly of scientists promoting public health through understanding smoking prevention and cessation.

Their study followed 77 African American inner-city youth from infancy through adolescence. Offspring of smoking mothers showed difficulty with attention as infants, but this deficit did not persist into later childhood and adolescence. Prenatal smoking was associated with what the researchers termed "neurobehavioral difficulties" in infants, which later developed into conduct problems.

These findings confirm previous reports that prenatal smoking is a risk factor for behavioral problems in children.


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Contact: Ted Klein
tklein6398@aol.com
212-431-8181
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
5-Mar-1999


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