Maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and child aggressive behavior

David W. Brook, Chenshu Zhang, Gary Rosenberg, Judith S. Brook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study's objective was to examine the association between maternal smoking during pregnancy and childhood aggressive behavior in African-American and Puerto Rican children, as well as the relationship between maternal unconventional behavior, low maternal affection, and offspring aggression. Participants consisted of African-American and Puerto Rican children (N = 203; mean age = 8.6, SD = 0.87) and their mothers living in an inner city community. An interview consisting of a structured questionnaire was administered to the mothers and their children. Scales with adequate psychometric properties were adapted from previous validated measures. They included maternal smoking during pregnancy, maternal education, unconventionality, and warmth. Controlling for demographic factors, maternal unconventional behavior, and low maternal warmth, maternal smoking during pregnancy was associated with having offspring who were aggressive. Maternal unconventionality and warmth were independently related to childhood aggression. Although causal limitations are noted, it may be that a decrease in smoking during pregnancy is associated with a reduction in aggression in the offspring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-456
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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