Does the home environment and the sex of the child modify the adverse effects of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos on child working memory?

Prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus insecticide, has long been associatedwith delayed neurocognitive development and most recently with decrements in working memory at age 7. In the current paper, we expanded the previous work on CPF to investigate how additional biological and social environmental factors might create or explain differential neurodevelopmental susceptibility, focusing onmain and moderating effects of the quality of the home environment (HOME) and child sex.We evaluate how the quality of the home environment (specifically, parental nurturance and environmental stimulation) and child sex interact with the adverse effects of prenatal CPF exposure on working memory at child age 7 years. We did not observe a remediating effect of a high quality home environment (either parental nurturance or environmental stimulation) on the adverse effects of prenatal CPF exposure onworkingmemory. However,we detected a borderline significant interaction between prenatal exposure to CPF and child sex (B (95% CI) for interaction term=−1.714 (−3.753 to 0.326)) suggestingmales experience a greater decrement inworkingmemory than females following prenatal CPF exposure. In addition, we detected a borderline interaction between parental nurturance and child sex (B (95% CI) for interaction term=1.490 (−0.518 to 3.499)) suggesting that, in terms of working memory,males benefit more from a nurturing environment than females. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation into factors that may inform an intervention strategy to reduce or reverse the cognitive deficits resulting from prenatal CPF exposure.

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