Background: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) represents a spectrum of birth defects caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. It is one of the most important preventable forms of non-genetic birth defects associated with intellectual disability. In order to systematically plan health promoting programs, it is necessary to identify specific psycho-social determinants and environmental conditions related to maternal drinking.

Methods: A systematic literature search on psycho-social determinants of maternal alcohol drinking behaviors was conducted in multiple databases up to July 2016, including PubMed, PsychINFO, PsychARTICLES, ERIC, CINAHL, EMBASE and MEDLINE. A query was generated and resulting hits were exported and screened during three rounds (titles, titles and abstracts, full text). Screening took place by one screener and was randomly checked by a second screener. Results were then extracted and analyzed.

Findings: Studies identified determinants related to maternal alcohol consumption using qualitative and quantitative research methods. None of the included studies was conducted primarily to investigate the association between psycho-social determinants and maternal drinking behavior(s). The focus of most researchers is on knowledge and risk perception. Attitudes and perceived norms get some attention, while self-efficacy and especially automaticity of behaviors get very little attention.

Discussion: Changing maternal drinking behavior requires understanding the determinants and environmental conditions first. It is recommended that the determinants of risk behaviors related to FASD are identified following a theory- and evidence-based procedure. Recommendations for future research are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1122
JournalThe European Health Psychologist
Volume19 (Supp.)
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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