New research from the University of Sydney finds that even low levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy can have an impact on a child’s brain development and is associated with greater psychological and behavioural problems in youth including anxiety, depression and poor attention.
Published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, the study was led by the University’s Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use.
The impact of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy on child development is relatively unknown and there has been extensive debate about whether there is a safe level of consumption.
The researchers investigated whether any alcohol consumption in pregnancy was related to psychological, behavioural, neural and cognitive differences in children aged nine to ten years. With a sample of 9,719 youth, this is the largest study to investigate the impacts of low-level alcohol use during pregnancy. Low levels of drinking were considered