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Maternal pre-pregnancy weight and twins’ temperament

  • Elena C. Tore (a1) (a2), Evangelia E. Antoniou (a1), Keith Reed (a3), Taunton R. Southwood (a4), Luc Smits (a5), Joseph P. McCleery (a6) and Maurice P. Zeegers (a1) (a7)...


Maternal pre-pregnancy weight has been related with young singletons’ cognitive and behavioral development, but it is not clear if it has an effect on temperament. We used a twin cohort to evaluate the association between maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and infants’ temperament. The mothers of 834 twins answered questions regarding their pre-pregnancy BMI and their 0- to 18-month-old children’s temperament using the Revised Infant Behavior Questionnaire. Three temperamental dimensions were examined: activity level, distress to limitation and duration of orienting. The relationship between maternal pre-pregnancy BMI and each temperamental component was investigated by means of multilevel mixed-effects linear regression analysis. We found no clear evidence of an association of maternal pre-pregnancy BMI with twins’ temperament. The development of temperament is influenced by a large number of factors, probably different from those influencing children’s emotional and behavioral development.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Elena Tore, Department of Complex Genetics, Care and Public Health Research Institute (School CAPHRI), Maastricht University, 6200 Maastricht, The Netherlands. E-mail:


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