Three hundred depressed pregnant women were recruited at approximately 20 weeks gestation. They were then divided by a median split into high and low urinary cortisol level groups. The high cortisol group had higher CES-D depression scores and higher inhibition (BIS) scores prenatally. Their fetuses had smaller head circumference, abdominal circumference, biparietal diameter and fetal weight. The high cortisol group neonates were shorter gestational age and lower birthweight and they had lower Brazelton habituation and higher Brazelton reflex scores. Discriminant function analyses suggested that cortisol levels more accurately classified short gestation and low birthweight groups than CES-D depression scores.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology