Pre-, peri-, and postnatal trauma in subjects with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Can J Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;46(6):542-8. doi: 10.1177/070674370104600609.


Objective: To review research on pre-, peri-, and postnatal stress and their potential relation to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Method: We selected and critically reviewed 51 research reports from the medical and psychology literature, between January 1, 1976 and May 1, 2001, based on the subjects of pre-, peri-, or postnatal stress and ADHD.

Results: Children with ADHD show higher percentages of pre-, peri-, or postnatal insult, compared with unaffected children; however, the relative influence of various factors is still controversial.

Conclusions: The etiology of ADHD encompasses genetic and environmental factors. Pre-, peri-, and postnatal stressors are environmental factors that may play a role in its etiology. Future research should carefully examine interactions between genetic predisposition and environmental factors as etiologies of ADHD.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / complications*
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / etiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / complications*
  • Hypoxia, Brain / diagnosis
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Environment*
  • Stress, Physiological / complications*