Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prenatal testosterone linked to increased risk of language delay for male infants, study shows

Date:
January 25, 2012
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
New research by Australian scientists reveals that males who are exposed to high levels of testosterone before birth are twice as likely to experience delays in language development compared to females. The research, published in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, focused on umbilical cord blood to explore the presence of testosterone when the language-related regions of a fetus' brain are undergoing a critical period of growth.

New research by Australian scientists reveals that males who are exposed to high levels of testosterone before birth are twice as likely to experience delays in language development compared to females. The research, published in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, focused on umbilical cord blood to explore the presence of testosterone when the language-related regions of a fetus' brain are undergoing a critical period of growth.

Related Articles


"An estimated 12% of toddlers experience significant delays in their language development," said lead author Professor Andrew Whitehouse from the University of Western Australia. "While language development varies between individuals, males tend to develop later and at a slower rate than females."

The team believed this may be due to prenatal exposure to sex-steroids such as testosterone. Male fetuses are known to have 10 times the circulating levels of testosterone compared to females. The team proposed that higher levels of exposure to prenatal testosterone may increase the likelihood of language development delays.

Professor Whitehouse's team measured levels of testosterone in the umbilical cord blood of 767 newborns before examining their language ability at 1, 2 and 3-years of age.

The results showed male infants with high levels of testosterone in cord blood were between two-and-three times more likely to experience language delay. However, the opposite effect was found in female infants, where high-levels of testosterone in cord blood were associated with a decreased risk of language delay.

Previous smaller studies have explored the link between testosterone levels in amniotic fluid and language development. However, this is the first large population-based study to explore the relationship between umbilical cord blood and language delay in the first three years of life.

"Language delay is one of the most common reasons children are taken to a Paediatrician," concluded Professor Whitehouse. "Now these findings can help us to understand the biological mechanisms that may underpin language delay, as well as language development more generally."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew J.O. Whitehouse, Eugen Mattes, Murray T. Maybery, Michael G. Sawyer, Peter Jacoby, Jeffrey A. Keelan, Martha Hickey. Sex-specific associations between umbilical cord blood testosterone levels and language delay in early childhood. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02523.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Prenatal testosterone linked to increased risk of language delay for male infants, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125195530.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2012, January 25). Prenatal testosterone linked to increased risk of language delay for male infants, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125195530.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Prenatal testosterone linked to increased risk of language delay for male infants, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120125195530.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

How Technology Is Ruining Snow Days For Students

Newsy (Jan. 25, 2015) More schools are using online classes to keep from losing time to snow days, but it only works if students have Internet access at home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

Weird Things Couples Do When They Lose Their Phone

BuzzFeed (Jan. 24, 2015) Did you back it up? Do you even know how to do that? Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

Amazing Technology Allows Blind Mother to See Her Newborn Son

RightThisMinute (Jan. 23, 2015) Not only is Kathy seeing her newborn son for the first time, but this is actually the first time she has ever seen a baby. Kathy and her sister, Yvonne, have been legally blind since childhood, but thanks to an amazing new technology, eSight glasses, which gives those who are legally blind the ability to see, she got the chance to see the birth of her son. It&apos;s an incredible moment and an even better story. Video provided by RightThisMinute
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