Objectives: Limited evidence is available regarding the association between prenatal job strain and infant neurodevelopment. Most studies used stress indicators other than job strain to explain the relationship between prenatal maternal stress and child development. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between maternal job strain during pregnancy and neurodevelopment in infancy.Methods: Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study, an on-going prospective birth cohort study, has been conducted in South Korea since 2006. Job strain during pregnancy was measured using Korean version of Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ). Infant neurodevelopment was assessed using Korean Bayley Scale of Infant Development II (K-BSID-II) at 6 and 12 months of age. A total of 343 mother-child pairs that completed JCQ and K-BSID-II more than once were included. Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) defined in the K-BSID-II were used as outcome variables.Results: Compared to infants from mothers with low job strain, significant (p < 0.05) decreases in PDI were found in infants from mothers with active and passive job at 6 months of age. After stratification by infant sex, boys in the high strain group had a lower MDI score than boys in the low job strain group at 12 months. On the other hand, girls in the high strain and active groups had higher MDI scores than girls in the low job strain group at 12 months. PDI at 12 months also showed different results by sex. Boys in the high strain and passive job groups had lower PDI scores than boys in the low job strain group. However, such difference was not observed in girls.Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that prenatal job strain affects infant neurodevelopment in a gender-dependent manner.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2015 Kim et al.
- Infant neurodevelopment
- Job strain
- Prenatal psychosocial stress