Kautz-Turnbull C, Petrenko CLM, Handley ED, et al. Partner influence as a factor in maternal alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms, and maternal effects on infant neurodevelopmental outcomes. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research. 2021 May. DOI: 10.1111/acer.14612.
Few studies have investigated the partner’s influence on risk factors such as alcohol consumption and depression during pregnancy. Partner substance use and lower relationship satisfaction predict higher maternal alcohol use and depressive symptoms. Because prenatal alcohol use and maternal depression affect infant outcomes, it is imperative to examine how the partner affects these maternal risk factors. The current study examined the effect of a latent construct of partner influence on maternal alcohol use and depressive symptoms, and the effects on infant development of these maternal factors.
Participants were 246 pregnant women from 2 sites in Western Ukraine from whom longitudinal data were collected as part of a multisite study. In the first trimester, mothers reported on relationship satisfaction, partner substance use, and socioeconomic status (SES). In the third trimester, they reported on alcohol use and depressive symptoms. Infants were assessed using the Bayley Scale of Infant Development (average age = 6.93 months). A latent construct titled partner influence was formed using partner substance use and measures of relationship satisfaction, including the frequency of quarreling, happiness in the relationship, and the ease of talking with the partner. Using structural equation modeling, a model was specified in which partner influence and SES predicted maternal alcohol use and depressive symptoms, which in turn predicted infant neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Higher partner influence significantly predicted lower prenatal alcohol use and lower depressive symptoms, controlling for the effect of SES. Higher maternal prenatal alcohol use significantly predicted lower infant mental and psychomotor development. Maternal depressive symptoms did not predict infant development over and above the effect of alcohol use.
Partner influence is an important contributor to prenatal alcohol use and maternal depressive symptoms, over and above the effect of SES. The significant paths from prenatal alcohol exposure to infant neurodevelopmental outcomes underscore the importance of partner influence during pregnancy.
Read article at publisher’s site (DOI): 10.1111/acer.14612