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February 1956

Pregnancy Experience and the Development of Childhood Speech Disorders: An Epidemiologic Study of the Association with Maternal and Fetal Factors

Author Affiliations

Professor of Psychiatry, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Director of Research, Columbus State Psychiatric Institute (Dr. Pasamanick). Formerly Research Assistant, Division of Mental Hygiene, The John Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (Mrs. Constantinou). Chief, Department of Statistics and Epidemiological Research, Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo (Dr. Lilienfeld).

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1956;91(2):113-118. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1956.02060020115002

Injury to the brain as a cause of neurologic and behavioral dysfunction has been described for centuries. It has been known for a long time that cerebral damage following complications of pregnancy and prematurity is an important factor in fetal and neonatal mortality. We therefore hypothesized that varying degrees of brain injury insufficient to cause death would result in corresponding degrees of neurologic impairment and would serve as precursors to a number of neuropsychiatric disorders of childhood. We have investigated this hypothesis of a continuum of reproductive casualty and found it to have validity as far as cerebral palsy,2 epilepsy.* mental deficiency,† and childhood behavior disorders are concerned.‡

A number of observations led us to believe that speech disorders might be a component of this continuum. Specific injury to the brain in adults has been reported as resulting in speech defects. Disorders of speech are very common among children

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