Infant Temperament: Repercussions of Superstorm Sandy-Related Maternal Stress

Jessica Buthmann, Jacob Ham, Katherine Davey, Jackie Finik, Kathryn Dana, Patricia Pehme, Wei Zhang, Vivette Glover, Yoko Nomura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This study recruited a prospective cohort of 380 pregnant women before, during, or after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 to examine the association between disaster-related pre- and post-natal maternal stress and offspring temperament at 6 months-old. Mothers prospectively reported stressful experiences during the storm and rated their child’s temperament 6 months postpartum. Results indicated that length of time without phone or electricity and financial loss was associated with offspring negative affect, whereas financial loss and threat of death or injury was associated with emotion dysregulation. Furthermore, offspring born before the storm had greater negative affect and lower emotion regulation than those born after the storm. Given the probable increase in the occurrence of natural disasters due to climate change in recent years (McCarthy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: contribution of Working Group II to the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001), our results highlight the necessity of education and planning to help ameliorate any potential consequences on the developing infant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-162
Number of pages13
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2019


  • Early life stress
  • Infant development
  • Natural disaster
  • Prenatal maternal stress
  • Temperament


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