Jurgita Smiltė Jasiulionė, Roma Jusienė, Eglė Markūnienė


There is a lack of empirical studies which analyze a potential impact of the use of synthetic oxytocin during labor on children’s early psychosocial development. The aim of this study is to examine associations between use of oxytocin for inducing and stimulating labor and emotional and behavioral problems of children up to 1,5 years old. Mothers and their 161 children born during low-risk normal vaginal delivery were involved in the longitudinal study. Data on infants’ problem behavior at 3 and 6 months of age were collected using the mother’s perception of the infant’s difficult behavior scale (Bornstein et al., 2006). The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL/1½-5, Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000) was used for the assessment of behavioral and emotional problems of 1,5 years old children. Results revealed that children born during oxytocin induced or stimulated delivery are seen by their mothers as more likely having lack of interest in things going on around him or her when awake and alert at 3 months of age; at 6 months of age they are more likely turning away, or crying when picked up or handled and at 1,5 years of age having more withdrawal behavior problems. Research results shows that the use of synthetic oxytocin may stimulate specific disorders in early psychosocial development despite influence of other possibly related factors.

Keyword(s): oxytocin; labor; children; emotional and behavioral problems.
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2016.028
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