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Maternal Early Life Adversity and Next Generation Wheeze and Allergy

  • Author / Creator
    Pawlowski, Alicia N.
  • Chronic trauma in childhood can program an abnormal stress reaction, resulting in lifelong difficulties with stress management and poor health outcomes linked to changes in the immune system. At the same time, maternal stress during pregnancy has been linked to childhood asthma. Given the potential for a mother’s early life maltreatment to shape her later response to stress during pregnancy, we hypothesized that preschoolers would be more likely to have a wheeze or allergic disorder if their mother has a history of adversity. We found a significant positive association between a mother’s early experience of household dysfunction and childhood wheeze. Maternal childhood psychological abuse was associated with children’s allergies. In summary, stressful maternal childhood experiences are associated with the development of wheeze and allergy in children. These findings emphasize the necessity of services aimed at lowering the stress of new mothers and the value of inquiring about early life experiences.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R35H7C145
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Medical Sciences-Paediatrics
  • Specialization
    • Medical Sciences-Paediatrics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Anita Kozyrsky (Paediatrics)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Sandra Wiebe (Psychology)
    • Dr Jacqueline Pei (Educational Psychology)
    • Dr. Lionel Dibden (Paediatrics)