Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Maternal Education Linked To Intellectual Disabilities In Offspring

Date:
March 7, 2008
Source:
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Summary:
Using a epidemiologic approach, researchers have discovered a key indicator for increased risk of mental retardation in the general population. Researchers found that low maternal education resulted in the highest risk of intellectual disability to offspring compared with other factors such as maternal illness, delivery complications, gestational age at birth, and even very low birth weight.

By applying a public health approach, researchers at three universities have discovered a key indicator for increased risk of mental retardation in the general population. The study assessed population-level risk factors by linking birth records of 12-14-year-old children in Florida with their respective public school records, over the course of a school year.

Related Articles


Using the rationale that high-prevalence risk factors can have a substantial impact at the population level, even if the risk to the individual is low, Derek Chapman, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Community Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, Keith Scott, Professor of Psychology, at the University of Miami, and Tina L. Stanton-Chapman, Assistant Professor of Curriculum Instruction and Special Education, at the University of Virginia, found that low maternal education resulted in the highest risk of intellectual disability to offspring compared with other factors such as maternal illness, delivery complications, gestational age at birth, and even very low birth weight.

Extremely low birth weight infants (<1000 grams or 2.2 lbs) were 9.1 times more likely to have a mild intellectual disability compared to normal birth weight infants (2500+g or 5.5 lbs), yet were only associated with 2.1% of cases in the population. Women with an education below the high school level were 8.9 times more likely to have a child with mild intellectual disability compared with women who had more than 12 years of education, but were associated with 50.9% of cases.

Significant socioeconomic effects were found across all levels of intellectual disabilities, with higher income and education dramatically attenuating risk associated with biologic factors such as low birth weight, indicating a range of opportunities for population-based prevention and early intervention services.

The study's corresponding author, Derek Chapman, explained, "This approach to the study of disabilities is critical because an exclusive focus on prevention via medical interventions ignores the tremendous impact we can have by addressing social factors for which low education is a marker. If infants born to women with a high school education or less had the same risk as those born to college-educated women, there would be a 75% reduction in mild intellectual disabilities. Although genetic and biologic factors clearly play a role, their risk can be attenuated and there is a greater potential impact by addressing social factors such as maternal stress, birth spacing, preconception care, the child-rearing environment, and access to early and comprehensive intervention for at-risk infants and children."

The authors speculate that in addition to direct genetic effects, prenatally, maternal education may impact cognitive development through awareness and avoidance by the mother of certain risk behaviors and access to early and comprehensive prenatal care. Likewise, the authors theorize that, postnatally, low maternal education can influence mental development of the child through poor nutrition choices by the mother, less cognitive stimulation in the home environment, less knowledge of and access to early intervention services, and increases in childhood injuries.

The results appear in the March 2008 issue of the American Journal of Mental Retardation ("Public Health Approach to the Study of Mental Retardation," by Derek A. Chapman, Keith G. Scott, and Tina L. Stanton-Chapman).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. "Low Maternal Education Linked To Intellectual Disabilities In Offspring." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305121015.htm>.
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (2008, March 7). Low Maternal Education Linked To Intellectual Disabilities In Offspring. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305121015.htm
American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. "Low Maternal Education Linked To Intellectual Disabilities In Offspring." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305121015.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins