Pregnancy is a
wonderful phase in a woman's life. An expectant mother is supposed to take
extra care of herself. She should avoid stressful conditions as it may
adversely affect the baby's health.
that the children of women, who were stressed out during their pregnancy, have
more chances of being bullied at school.
Prof. Dieter Wolke and
his colleagues at the University of Warwick conducted a research to assess the
veracity of the statement that stressful pregnancy could have children becoming
victims of bullies. The study was published in the Journal of Child Psychology
and Psychiatry, 2012.
Professor Dieter Wolke
said, 'When we are exposed to stress, large quantities of neurohormones are
released into the blood stream and in a pregnant woman this can change the
developing foetus' own stress response system.'
Prof. Wolke mentioned
that the study is first of its kind to determine the role of pregnancy stress
on the child's susceptibility of being bullied.
8,829 children were
enrolled from the Avon Longtitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
The Avon Longitudinal
Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also called the Children of the 90s, is
a long-term health research project.
More than 14,000
expectant mothers were enrolled during 1991 and 1992. The development and
general health of their off-springs were followed in detail.
The affected children
when confronted with stressful situations either run away or cry or become
anxious, therefore, they become vulnerable to being bullied by others.
The researchers said
that issues such as financial difficulty, drug abuse, alcohol addiction,
maternal mental health, etc. are accountable for prenatal maternal stress.
Prof. Wolke stated,
"The whole thing becomes a vicious cycle, a child with an altered stress
response system is more likely to be bullied, which affects their stress
response even further and increases the likelihood of them developing mental
health problems in later life."
Babies Born to Stressed Mothers More Likely to
be Bullied PsychCentral.com