Prenatal anger effects on the fetus and neonate.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

One hundred and sixty-six women were classified as experiencing high or low anger during the second trimester of pregnancy. The high-anger women also had high scores on depression and anxiety scales. In a follow-up across pregnancy, the fetuses of the high-anger women were noted to be more active and to experience growth delays. The high-anger mothers' high prenatal cortisol and adrenaline and low dopamine and serotonin levels were mimicked by their neonates' high cortisol and low dopamine levels. The high-anger mothers and infants were also similar on their relative right frontal EEG activation and their low vagal tone. Finally, the newborns of high-anger mothers had disorganised sleep patterns (greater indeterminate sleep and more state changes) and less optimal performance on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale (orientation, motor maturity and depression). These data highlight the need for prenatal intervention for elevated angry mood during pregnancy.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Field, T; Diego, M; Hernandez-Reif, M; Salman, F; Schanberg, S; Kuhn, C; Yando, R; Bendell, D

Published Date

  • May 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 22 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 260 - 266

PubMed ID

  • 12521495

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0144-3615

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/01443610220130526


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England