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An investigation into the effects of cigarette and nicotine consumption during pregnancy and the effects on fetal and infant neurobehaviour.

FROGGATT, SUZANNE,LISA (2021) An investigation into the effects of cigarette and nicotine consumption during pregnancy and the effects on fetal and infant neurobehaviour. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The research presented in this thesis is an examination of the relationship between cigarette and e-cigarette use on both fetal and infant behaviour, maternal understanding of risks associated with these products and the association between fetal and infant behaviour. Smoking during pregnancy is well known to lead to an array of negative health and behavioural outcomes, with very few studies assessing the impact on fetal behaviour. Chapters 1-3 introduce the topic alongside in-depth methodology sections. Chapter 4 discusses research partially replicating a pilot study conducted by Reissland et al. (2015) assessing the impact of cigarette exposure on fetal mouth movements, with the addition of separated cigarette groups (light and heavy smoking) and an e-cigarette exposed group. The findings indicate that there were no significant differences in frequency of fetal mouth movements between the four exposure groups, but generally a decline in mouth movement across the gestational ages. Chapter 5 is a meta-analysis that indicated that prenatal cigarette exposure was associated with worse neurobehavioural outcomes up to one year of age, with results from Chapter 6 also indicating negative neurobehavioural effects at one month of age. These effects were not only evident for the cigarette exposed infants but also for infants who were prenatally exposed to e-cigarettes. Research suggests that fetal facial movements, in particular mouth movements are indicative of brain functioning. However, the findings reported in Chapter 7 found no significant relation between fetal mouth movements and infant neurobehaviour. Chapter 8 provides an account of maternal perceptions of risks associated with both cigarette and e-cigarette use during pregnancy. Results indicate that women provide several justifications for continued smoking and that e-cigarettes were regarded as a riskier option. The thesis concludes with a general discussion of the main findings, implications for policy and a critique of the research.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Aug 2021 12:31

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