Perinatal complications as predictors of infantile autism

Int J Neurosci. 2002 Sep;112(9):1085-98. doi: 10.1080/00207450290026076.


This study investigated the relationship between reported perinatal complications and autism. The biological mothers of 183 autistic children and 209 normals completed the Maternal Perinatal Scale (MPS), a maternal self-report that surveys complications of pregnancies and medical conditions of the mother. Previous research in this area has been limited, with no definitive conclusions. A discriminant analysis was performed to consider perinatal complications as predictors between the autistic and normal subjects. Using the MPS, 65% of the autistic cases were correctly grouped. The results further indicated significant differences on 3 of the 10 factors of the MPS, in particular, Gestational Age, Maternal Morphology, and Intrauterine Stress. When considered in an item by item fashion, 5 items were found to significantly predict group membership (prescriptions taken during pregnancy, length of labor, viral infection, abnormal presentation at delivery, and low birth weight). Finally, 3 maternal medical conditions were found to be highly significant and contribute to the separation between groups, including urinary infection, high temperatures, and depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Perinatology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors