Children born to mothers who are anxious during pregnancy and the early years of the child, are likely to show symptoms of hyperactivity when they enter adolescence, according to a study.
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) found an association between maternal anxiety and hyperactivity in kids.
The mothers were identified as per their anxiety levels — low, moderate and high — while the children were evaluated through attention tests. While no difference was found in kids terms of attention, they showed a significant difference in hyperactivity symptoms, depending on how anxious the mother had been.
As per the findings, 11 per cent of children from ‘high anxiety’ mothers, 11 per cent of those from ‘moderate anxiety’, and five per cent of kids from ‘low anxiety’ mothers showed symptoms of hyperactivity.
According to the study, the reason behind this could be that kids responded to perceived anxiety in the mother or due to a biological factor, for instance, stress hormones in placenta affecting a developing brain.
Dr Blanca Bolea, lead author and professor at University of Toronto, said, “…it shows that the stresses a mother experiences can show up in her child nearly a generation later; it is worth noting that all the mothers reported an increase in anxiety during pregnancy.”