There is an increasing body of evidence indicating that prenatal and perinatal factors predispose to externalizing behavior in the offspring. This paper first reviews recent empirical research on prenatal and perinatal complications and externalizing behavior. Brain dysfunction mechanisms are then discussed. It is suggested that (a) birth complications can cause brain damage and (b) brain damage can predispose to antisocial and violent behavior. Finally, the paper argues that prevention strategies using a multidisciplinary approach may help reduce prenatal and perinatal complications. In consequence, such strategies may also help reduce the likelihood of later externalizing behavior problems.
KEY WORDS: prenatal and perinatal complications, birth complications, brain damage, externalizing behavior, antisocial behavior, violence, prevention.
Andrews, T.K., Rose, F.D., & Johnson, D.A. (1998). Social and behavioral effects of traumatic brain injury in children. Brain Injury, 12, 133-138.
Arseneault, L., Tremblay, R.E., Boulerice, B., Seguin, J.R., & Saucier, J.F. (2000). Minor physical anomalies and family adversity as risk factors for violent delinquency in adolescence. American Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 917-923.
Arsenault, L., Tremblay, R.E., Boulerice, B., & Saucier, J.F. (2002). Obstetrical complications and violent delinquency: Testing two developmental pathways. Child Development
Botting, A., Fowls, R.W., Cooke, & Marlow, N. (1997). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders and other psychiatric outcomes in very low birthweight children at 12 years. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38(8), 931-941.
Brennan, P.A., Grekin, E.R., & Mednick, S.A. (1999). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and adult male criminal outcomes. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 215-219.
Brennan, P.A., Grekin, E.R., Mortensen, E.L., & Mednick, S.A. (2002). Relationship of maternal smoking during pregnancy with criminal arrest and hospitalization for substance abuse in male and female adult offspring. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 48-54.
Brennan, P.A., Mednick, S.A., & Raine, A. (1997). Biosocial interactions and violence: A focus on perinatal factors. In A. Raine, P. Brennan, D.P. Farrington, & S.A. Mednick (Eds.), Biosocial bases of violence, (pp. 163-174). New York: Plenum.
Cannon, T.D., van Erp, T.G.M., Rosso, I.M., Huttunen, M., Loenqvist, J., Pirkola, T. et al. (2002). Fetal hypoxia and structural brain abnormalities in schizophrenic patients, their siblings, and controls. Archives of General Psychiatry, 59, 35-41.
Carlson, N. (1998). Physiology of Behavior. (6th ed.) Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon: A Viacom Company.
Caspi, A., McClay, J., Moffitt, T.E., Mill, J., Martin, J., Craig, I.W., et al. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science 297(5582): 851-854.
Dalman, C., Allebeck, P., Cullberg, J., Grunewald, C., & Koster, M. (1999). Obstetric complications and the risk of schizophrenia: a longitudinal study of a national birth cohort. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56, 234-240.
Fishbein, D. (2001). Biobehavioral Perspectives in Criminology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Fishbein, D.H., Herning, R.I., Pickworth, W.B., Haertzen, C.A., et al. (1989). EEG and brainstem auditory evoked response potentials in adult male drug abusers with self-reported histories of aggressive behavior. Biological Psychiatry, 26, 595-611.
Gibson, C.L., & Tibbetts, S.G. (1998). Interaction between maternal cigarette smoking and Apgar scores in predicting offending behavior. Psychological Reports, 83, 579-586.
Henry, B., & Moffitt, T.E. (1997). Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies of juvenile delinquency and adult criminal behavior. In D. Stoff., J. Breiling., & J. Maser (Eds.), Handbook of antisocial behavior (pp. 2809-2888). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Hinshaw, S.P. (1987). On the distinction between attentional deficits/hyperactivity and conduct problems/aggression in child psychopathology. Psychological Bulletin, 101, 443-463.
Hodgins, S., Kratzer, L., & McNeil, T.F. (2001). Obstetric complications, parenting, and risk of criminal behavior. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, 746-752.
Kemppainen, L., Jokelainen, J., Jaervelin, M.R., Isohanni, M., & Raesaenen, P. (2001). The one-child family and violent criminality: A 31-year follow-up study of the Northern Finland 1966 birth cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry, 158, 960-962.
Kunugi, H., Nanko, S., & Murray, R.M. (2001). Obstetric complications and schizophrenia: prenatal underdevelopment and subsequent neurodevelopmental impairment. British Journal of Psychiatry Supplement, 40, 25-29.
Laucht, M., Esser, G., Baving, L., Gerhold, M., Hoesch, I., Ihle, W., et al. (2000). Behavioral sequelae of perinatal insults and early family adversity at 8 years of age. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 1229-1237.
Liu, J.H. (July-Sept 2004, in press) Childhood externalizing behavior: theory and implication Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing.
Liu, J.H. & Raine, A. (2000). Early Health Prevention for Violence. In R. Gottesman and M. Mazon (Eds). Encyclopedia of violence in the United States, 583-585. New York: Charles Scribner.
Liu, J.H., Raine, A., Venables, P., Dalais, C., & Mednick, S.A. (2004, in press). Malnutrition at age 3 years predisposes to externalizing behavior problems at ages 8, 11, and 17 years. American Journal of Psychiatry.
Machon, R.A., Mednick, S.A., & Schulsinger, F. (1987). Seasonality, birth complications and schizophrenia in a high risk sample. British Journal of Psychiatry, 151, 122-124.
Mark, V.H. & Ervin, F.R. (1970). Violence and the Brain. Oxford, England: Harper & Row.
McNeil, T.F. & Wiegerink, R (1971). Behavioral patterns and pregnancy and birth complication histories in psychologically disturbed children. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 152, 315-323.
Mednick, S.A., Huttunen, M.O., & Machon, R.A. (1994). Prenatal influenza infections and adult schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 20, 263-267.
Mednick, S.A. & Kandel, E. (1988). Genetic and perinatal factors in violence. In T.E. Moffitt & S.A. Mednick (Eds.), Biological contributions to crime causation, 121-131. Dordrecht, Netherlands.: Martinas Nijhoff Publishing.
Mednick, S.A., Machon, R.A., Huttunen, M.O., & Bonett, D. (1988). Adult schizophrenia following prenatal exposure to an influenza epidemic. Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, 189-192.
Mick, E., Biederman, J., Prince, J., Fischer, M. J., & Faraone, S.V. (2002). Impact of low birth weight on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 23, 16-22.
Milberger, S., Biederman, J., Faraone, S.V., Quite, J., et al. (1997). Pregnancy, delivery and infancy complications and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Issues of gene-environment interaction. Biological Psychiatry, 41, 65-75.
Moffitt, T.E. (1990). The Neuropsychological studies of juvenile delinquency : A critical review. In M.N. Tonry M (Ed.), Crime and Justice: A Review of the Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Moffitt, T.E. (2002). Teen-aged mothers in contemporary Britain. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 43, 727-742.
Olds, D., Henderson, C.J., Cole, R., Eckenrode, J., Kitzman, H., Luckey, D., et al. (1998). Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on children's criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 280, 1238-1244.
Pasamanick, B., Rogers, M.E., & Lilienfeld, A.M. (1956) Pregnancy experience and development of behavior disorders in children. American Journal of Psychiatry, 112, 613-618.
Pillitteri, A. (2002). Maternal & child health nursing: care of the childbearing and childrearing family. (3rd ed.) Philadelphia: Lippincott.
Piquero, A. & Tibbetts, S. (1999). The impact of pre/perinatal disturbances and disadvantaged familial environment in predicting criminal offending. Studies on Crime & Crime Prevention, 8, 52-70.
Raine, A. (1993). The Psychopathology of Crime: Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder. San Diego: Academic Press.
Raine A. (2002a). Biosocial studies of antisocial and violent behavior in children and adults: A review. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, Vol 30(4), 311-326.
Raine A. (2002b). Annotation: The role of prefrontal deficits, low autonomic arousal and early health factors in the development of antisocial and aggressive behavior in children. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, Vol 43(4), 417-434.
Raine, A., Brennan, P., & Mednick, S.A. (1994). Birth complications combined with early maternal rejection at age 1 year predispose to violent crime at age 18 years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51, 984-988.
Raine, A., Buchsbaum, M., & LaCasse, L. (1997). Brain abnormalities in murderers indicated by positron emission tomography. Biological Psychiatry, 42, 495-508.
Raine, A., Ishikawa, S.S., Arce, E., Lencz, T., Knuth, K.H., Bihrle, S., et al. (2004). Hippocampal Structural Asymmetry in Unsuccessful Psychopaths. Biological Psychiatry, 55, 185-191
Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., LaCasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2000). Reduced prefrontal gray matter volume and reduced autonomic activity in antisocial personality disorder. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 119-127.
Raine, A., & Liu, J.H., (1998). Biological predispositions to violence and their implications for biosocial treatment and prevention. Psychology, Crime and Law, 4, 107-125.
Raine, A., Reynolds, C., Venables, P.H., & Mednick, S.A. (1997). Biosocial bases of aggressive behavior in childhood: Resting heart rate, skin conductance orienting and physique. In Raine, Adrian, Brennan, Patricia A. (Eds). Biosocial bases of violence. NATO ASI series: Series A: Life sciences, Vol. 292 (pp. 107-126). New York, NY, US: Plenum Press.
Rasanen, P., Hakko, H., Isohanni, M., Hodgins, S., Jarvelin, M.R., & Tiihonen, J. (1999). Maternal smoking during pregnancy and risk of criminal behavior among adult male offspring in the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 857-862.
Rutter, M., Giller, H., & Hagell, A. (1998). Antisocial behavior by young people. New York, NY, Cambridge University Press.
Stoff, D., Breiling, J., & Maser, J. (1997). Handbook of Antisocial Behavior. New York: Wiley.
Takei, N., & Murray, R.M. (1994). Prenatal influenza and schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 833-834.
Volavka J. (1987). Electroencephalogram among criminals. In Mednick S.A., Moffitt T.E., & Stack S. (Eds.), The Causes of Crime: New Biological Approaches, 137-145. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wright, P., Takei, N., Rifkin, L., & Murray, R.M. (1995). Maternal influenza, obstetric complications, and schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152, 1714-1720.
Jianghong Liu, Ph.D
Jianghong Liu, Ph.D is a postdoctoral research fellow in Social Science Research Institute at University of Southern California. Dr. Liu' s research interests involve early health risk factors in developing later childhood externalizing behavior. This work was supported by postdoctoral fellowship NRSA 1 F32 NR008661-01 from the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR). The address for the author is Social Science Research Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0375. Her email address is email@example.com.
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.