To extend previous studies by looking at the effect of the mother's smoking during pregnancy on her toddler's negative behavior.
A survey consisting of a structured questionnaire was administered to the mothers of 2-year-old toddlers.
The subjects were drawn from a community sample, as part of a larger study of mothers and their children.
The subjects were 99 toddlers and their mothers taken from a community sample. Fifty-two of the mothers smoked throughout pregnancy, while 47 either stopped smoking during pregnancy or started smoking after childbirth.
The measures consisted of scales with adequate psychometric properties, which, for the most part, were adapted from the literature. Measures included assessment of smoking behavior, the mother's personality/behavior, perinatal variables, demographic variables, and aspects of the mother-child relationship.
Using logistic regression analyses, maternal smoking during pregnancy was found to be related to negativity in the child, controlling for demographic factors, perinatal factors, maternal personality attributes, and the mother-child relationship.
The findings suggest that maternal smoking during pregnancy has an adverse effect on the child's negativity, and that a decrease in maternal smoking during pregnancy might be expected to lead to a decrease in the child's negativity. The relationship of maternal smoking during pregnancy and early childhood negativity to other problem behaviors remains to be explored.