Maternal Drinking Might Influence Attention Deficit Disorder
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
can have problems completing tasks, staying organized and
keeping track of things. Problems with hyperactivity and/or
impulsivity may also surface, including fidgeting, squirming,
excessive talking and frequent interrupting. Because most
children display these behaviors from time to time, it¹s not
easy to determine whether a child has ADHD or is just going
through the normal adjustments of "growing up."
problems associated with ADHD can be persistent and severe,
and while it's not clear exactly what causes this condition,
a recent study suggests that maternal drinking may play a
role. Twenty-eight children were selected from three subject
groups: children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a condition
characterized by facial deformities due to maternal drinking;
children with prenatal exposure to alcohol; and children with
no prenatal exposure to alcohol. Researchers evaluated all
28 children in terms of "executive functioning"
(EF) ‹ sequencing and self-monitoring, planning, ability to
engage in goal-directed behaviors, critical thinking, etc.
‹ and found that those children exposed to alcohol (children
with FAS or prenatal exposure) performed worse on tests of
EF than children without prenatal exposure to alcohol.
These findings add to the considerable evidence that drinking
alcohol during pregnancy can have profound negative consequences.
Consult with your doctor before, during and after pregnancy
to ensure the health of your child.
Mattson SN, Goodman AM, Caine C, et al. Executive functioning
in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcoholism:
Clinical and Experimental Research, Nov. 1999: Vol. 23,
No. 11, pp1808-1815.