Maternal drinking and the outcome of pregnancy: implications for child mental health

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1977 Jul;47(3):422-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1977.tb01248.x.


Research since identification in 1973 of the fetal alcohol syndrome indicates that offspring of alcoholic women who drink heavily during pregnancy are at high risk for physical and mental deficiencies, and that even "social drinking" during pregnancy may have detrimental effects on birthweight and behavior of infants. While further research and remediation efforts are needed, primary prevention and active intervention in counseling and obstetrical clinics seem clearly and urgently called for.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Child Behavior / drug effects
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Ethanol / adverse effects
  • Face
  • Female
  • Fetus / drug effects
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperkinesis / etiology
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / prevention & control
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Social Environment
  • Syndrome


  • Ethanol