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Each episode of AJP Audio brings you an in-depth look at one of the articles featured in that month’s issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, the official journal of the American Psychiatric Association. Wide-ranging interviews with article authors cover the background, rationale, main findings, and future implications of the research.

Feb 1, 2021

Executive Editor Michael Roy speaks with Glenn Verner, M.P.H., and Sonja Entringer, Ph.D., about their article on the relationship between maternal psychological resilience during pregnancy and newborn telomere length.

Ms. Glenn Verner is a doctoral candidate in medical psychology at Charité University Medicine in Berlin. She is interested in studying the biological mechanisms that underpin maternal and fetal health.

Dr. Sonja Entringer is a professor of medical psychology at Charité University Medicine in Berlin. She is also an associate professor in the Health and Disease Research Program at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests broadly include how developmental programming affects health and disease risk. In particular, she is interested in how stress during pregnancy affects offspring development.

  • How the authors became interested in this area of research [2:10]
  • Overview of the telomere system [4:35]
  • Aims of the study, which examined how positive maternal psychological conditions during pregnancy affect newborn telomere settings [7:40]
  • Characteristics of study participants [10:44]
  • The various data collected during pregnancies [12:26]
  • How resilience and positivity were quantified [13:58]
  • Relationship between newborn telomere length and maternal resilience [15:18]
  • Results that stood out to the authors [16:37]
  • How clinical features or demographic characteristics of the participants affected the study outcome [17:26]
  • Limitations that may have affected the study results [18:43]
  • How this work fits in to the overall literature on this subject [19:51]
  • Implications the work has for the understanding of how maternal health affects infant health and disease risk [20:42]
  • Key points for researchers, clinicians, and other mental health professionals [22:43]
  • Recommendations for further research [23:59]

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