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Furlong, Melissa A.; Herring, Amy H.; Goldman, Barbara Davis; Daniels, Julie L.; Wolff, Mary S.; Engel, Lawrence S.; & Engel, Stephanie M. (2018). Early Life Characteristics and Neurodevelopmental Phenotypes in the Mount Sinai Children's Environmental Health Center. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 49(4), 534-550. PMCID: PMC6432778


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 ([Formula: see text] - 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.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Child Psychiatry and Human Development


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