Early Life Characteristics and Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center

Melissa Furlong, Amy H. Herring, Barbara D. Goldman, Julie L. Daniels, Mary S. Wolff, Lawrence S. Engel, Stephanie M. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Neurodevelopmental outcomes including behavior, executive functioning, and IQ exhibit complex correlational structures, although they are often treated as independent in etiologic studies. We performed a principal components analysis of the behavioral assessment system for children, the behavior rating inventory of executive functioning, and the Wechsler scales of intelligence in a prospective birth cohort, and estimated associations with early life characteristics. We identified seven factors: (1) impulsivity and externalizing, (2) executive functioning, (3) internalizing, (4) perceptual reasoning, (5) adaptability, (6) processing speed, and (7) verbal intelligence. Prenatal fish consumption, maternal education, preterm birth, and the home environment were important predictors of various neurodevelopmental factors. Although maternal smoking was associated with more adverse externalizing, executive functioning, and adaptive composite scores in our sample, of the orthogonally-rotated factors, smoking was only associated with the impulsivity and externalizing factor (β^ − 0.82, 95% CI − 1.42, − 0.23). These differences may be due to correlations among outcomes that were accounted for by using a phenotypic approach. Dimension reduction may improve upon traditional approaches by accounting for correlations among neurodevelopmental traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-550
Number of pages17
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Behavior
  • Impulsivity
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Phenotypes
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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