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The impact of maternal adverse childhood experiences on offspring neurodevelopment

Grant number: 22/04559-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Acordo de Cooperação: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
Principal Investigator:Andrea Parolin Jackowski
Grantee:Anna Beatriz Martins Batista
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:19/21612-0 - Maternal adversity, inflammation, and neurodevelopment: how intergenerational processes perpetuate disadvantage in a low-resource setting, AP.TEM


Exposure to childhood adverse events (ACES-emotional and physical abuse by parents, multipleepisodes of violence and sexual abuse) is associated with deleterious effects on the development of children and adolescents, low functioning, cognitive deficits and predict the development of depressive and anxiety disorders throughout life. In addition to the effects that ACEs have on the directly exposed individual, the characteristics present in the parent who was exposed to ACEs can be transmitted to their offspring, characterizing a mechanism of intergenerational transmission of trauma. The possible mechanisms of transmission of trauma are diverse, such as genetic, hormonal, neurobiological, among others. One of these mechanisms is the quality of mother-infant interaction (QIMB). It is known that exposure to maternal adversities in childhood can affect the quality of mother-infant interaction and significantly alter the offspring's neurodevelopment. In this context, we propose to investigate the intergenerational effects of maternal childhood trauma on offspring neurodevelopment, using the mother-infant interaction as an outcome. Our sample will be composed of 200 women, divided into two groups (100 women exposed to ACEs and 100 women not exposed), recruited in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy in Basic Health Units (BHU) in the city of Guarulhos / SP-Brazil. The sample will be evaluated in two moments: at recruitment, when questionnaires referring to trauma exposure and trauma intensity will be applied; the second meeting, when it proposes to evaluate the quality of the mother-baby interaction. Mothers exposed to childhood trauma are expected to have a worse quality of mother-infant interaction when compared to mothers not exposed to trauma. (AU)

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