Maternal psychosocial factors around delivery on development of 2-year-old children: A prospective cohort study


  • Financial support information: This study was partly supported by grants from the Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health (BHP-PHRC-92-4 and DOH93-HP-1702) and National Science Council (NSC95-2314-B-002-269 and NSC96-2314-B-002-117-MY3), Taiwan.

  • Competing interests: None.

Professor Pau-Chung Chen, Institute of Occupational Medicine and Industrial Hygiene, National Taiwan University College of Public Health, 17 Syujhou Road, Taipei 10055, Taiwan. Fax: +886 2 2358 2402; email:


Aim:  To explore whether maternal psychosocial factors around delivery are related to development of 2-year-old children.

Methods:  Pregnant women going to the hospital for delivery were recruited, and their children were observed at 24 months. A total of 186 mother–child dyads completed the measurement. Self-report data of maternal psychosocial factors around delivery were selected from the Taiwanese version of the short-form 36. The Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers was completed by interviewers and the main care givers for the child at 2 years old.

Results:  Using the multiple linear regression analysis and adjusting for potential confounders, maternal vitality around delivery was found to have a significantly positive relationship with the whole Comprehensive Developmental Inventory for Infants and Toddlers (P = 0.005) and self-help development (P = 0.001), but work stress had a significantly negative relationship with motor development (seldom, P = 0.050; always, P = 0.048).

Conclusions:  Maternal vitality around delivery was beneficial to a child's self-help development, while work stress seemed to be an adverse effect on child's motor development in later life. It is important to improve the psychosocial health of pregnant women.