OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether maternal report of infant behavioral dysregulation at 6 months is associated with a higher prevalence of behavioral concerns at 5, 14, and 21 years of age; and to assess the extent to which maternal and social factors may affect reported child behavior outcomes.

METHODS:

From the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy cohort of 7223 live singleton babies, information on dysregulation was available for 6389 children at 6 months. Of those children, behavior data were available for 4836 at 5 years by using a modified Child Behavior Checklist, 4746 at 14 years by using a full Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report, and 3558 at 21 years by using a Young Adult Self-Report. Of the youth with dysregulation data at 6 months, 2308 completed the Composite International Diagnostic Interview at 21 years. Potential confounding and mediating factors were analyzed by using logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Maternal-reported behavioral dysregulation at 6 months was associated with a significantly higher prevalence of maternal-reported behavior problems at 5 and 14 years (P < .001), but not youth self-reported problems at 14 or 21 years, or Composite International Diagnostic Interview–Diagnostic and Statistical Manual diagnoses at 21 years. The strength of association between infant dysregulation and maternal-reported behaviors was greater at 5 years than at 14 years, and was substantially reduced by adjusting for maternal, social, and infant factors, especially potentially the mediating factors of maternal anxiety and depression.

CONCLUSIONS:

Infant behavioral dysregulation was a risk factor for maternal-reported behavior concerns at 5 and 14 years, although was unrelated to young adult mental health.

You do not currently have access to this content.