- Prenatal smoking
- Physical aggression
This study investigated associations between maternal prenatal smoking and physical aggression (PA), hyperactivity-impulsivity (HI) and co-occurring PA and HI between ages 17 and 42 months in a population sample of children born in Québec (Canada) in 1997/1998 (N=1745). Trajectory model estimation showed three distinct developmental patterns for PA and four for HI. Multinomial regression analyses showed that prenatal smoking significantly predicted children’s likelihood to follow different PA trajectories beyond the effects of other perinatal factors, parental psychopathology, family functioning and parenting, and socio-economic factors. However, prenatal smoking was not a significant predictor of HI in a model with the same control variables. Further multinomial regression analyses showed that, together with gender, presence of siblings and maternal hostile reactive parenting, prenatal smoking independently predicted co-occurring high PA and high HI compared to low levels of both behaviors, to high PA alone, and to high HI alone. These results show that maternal prenatal smoking predicts multiple behavior regulation problems in early childhood.