Event Details

Thursday, 11 February 2016
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Room 201, Level 2, Cycad Building (1018)
University of Queensland Long Pocket Precinct, 80 Meiers Road, Indooroopilly (take the 12 noon shuttle bus at Chancellors Place)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Dr Wojtek Tomaszewski
+61 7 3346 9305
Org. Unit:
Institute for Social Science Research

Event Description

Full Description:
The Growing Up in Ireland cohort - Seminar with Lisa-Christine Girard, a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at University College Dublin

The rates of breastfeeding in the first 48 hours postpartum in Ireland are among the lowest across all European countries, reported by the National Perinatal statistics between 36% and 45%. This raises significant concerns as breast milk has been argued to be related to children’s cognitive development later in life. However, there is still large debate as to whether breastfeeding is casually related to increased cognitive development and little is known about the association between breastfeeding and language and non-cognitive development such as children’s behaviour problems.

In this study we examine the effects of breastfeeding on children’s cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes at age 3 using a propensity score matching approach to better address notions of causality. We find that after matching, children who were breastfed preformed significantly better on tests of nonverbal reasoning and scored lower on problem behaviours and hyperactivity as compared to children who were not breastfed. Children’s vocabulary approached but did not reach statistical significance. These effects however were only found for children who had been breastfed at least 6 months, suggesting that duration is an important factor when looking at the impact of breastfeeding on developmental outcomes.

Lisa-Christine Girard is a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at University College Dublin. Her previous fellowship was at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, in Paris, France, jointly appointed by the University of Montreal. Lisa-Christine completed her Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in Speech-Language Pathology. Her training is focused in developmental psychology and rehabilitation sciences examining social behavioural development (particular focus on aggression) and the associations with language/literacy development. She is currently working with a number of longitudinal datasets across Europe and North America exploring breastfeeding behaviour and child outcomes.

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