The impact of postnatal depression and associated adversity on early mother-infant interactions and later infant outcome
ABSTRACT The impact of maternal depression and adversity on mother-infant face-to-face interactions at 2 months, and on subsequent infant cognitive development and attachment, was examined in a low-risk sample of primiparous women and their infants. The severe disturbances in mother-infant engagement characteristic of depressed groups in disadvantaged populations were not evident in the context of postpartum mood disorder in the present study. However, compared to well women, depressed mothers were less sensitively attuned to their infants, and were less affirming and more negating of infant experience. Similar difficulties in maternal interactions were also evident in the context of social and personal adversity. Disturbances in early mother-infant interactions were found to be predictive of poorer infant cognitive outcome at 18 months. Infant attachment, by contrast, was not related to the quality of 2-month interactions, but was significantly associated with the occurrence of adversity, as well as postpartum depression.
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ABSTRACT: Chronic alcohol consumption negatively affects health, and has additional consequences if consumption occurs during pregnancy as prenatal alcohol exposure adversely affects offspring development. While much is known on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in offspring less is known about effects of alcohol in dams. Here, we examine whether chronic alcohol consumption during gestation alters maternal behavior, hippocampal neurogenesis and HPA axis activity in late postpartum female rats compared with nulliparous rats. Rats were assigned to alcohol, pair-fed or ad libitum control treatment groups for 21 days (for pregnant rats, this occurred gestation days 1-21). Maternal behavior was assessed throughout the postpartum period. Twenty-one days after alcohol exposure, we assessed doublecortin (DCX) (an endogenous protein expressed in immature neurons) expression in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and HPA axis activity. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy reduced nursing and increased self-directed and negative behaviors, but spared licking and grooming behavior. Alcohol consumption increased corticosterone and adrenal mass only in nulliparous females. Surprisingly, alcohol consumption did not alter DCX-expressing cell density. However, postpartum females had fewer DCX-expressing cells (and of these cells more immature proliferating cells but fewer postmitotic cells) than nulliparous females. Collectively, these data suggest that alcohol consumption during pregnancy disrupts maternal care without affecting HPA function or neurogenesis in dams. Conversely, alcohol altered HPA function in nulliparous females only, suggesting that reproductive experience buffers the long-term effects of alcohol on the HPA axis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Psychoneuroendocrinology 07/2015; 57. DOI:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.03.001 · 5.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Few studies have addressed the course and severity of maternal depression and its effects on child psychiatric disorders from a longitudinal perspective. This study aimed to identify longitudinal patterns of maternal depression and to evaluate whether distinct depression trajectories predict particular psychiatric disorders in offspring. Cohort of 4231 births followed-up in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 3, 12, 24 and 48 months and 6 years after delivery. Psychiatric disorders in 6-year-old children were evaluated through the development and well-being assessment (DAWBA) instrument. Trajectories of maternal depression were calculated using a group-based modelling approach. We identified five trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms: a "low" trajectory (34.8%), a "moderate low" (40.9%), a "increasing" (9.0%), a "decreasing" (9.9%), and a "high-chronic" trajectory (5.4%). The probability of children having any psychiatric disorder, as well as both internalizing and externalizing problems, increased as we moved from the "low" to the "high-chronic" trajectory. These differences were not explained by maternal and child characteristics examined in multivariate analyses. Data on maternal depression at 3-months was available on only a sub-sample. In addition, we had to rely on maternal report of child's behavior alone. The study revealed an additive effect on child outcome of maternal depression over time. We identified a group of mothers with chronic and severe symptoms of depression throughout the first six years of the child life and for this group child psychiatric outcome was particularly compromised. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2014; 174C:424-431. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.12.012 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This descriptive, exploratory study investigated whether the depressive symptoms of mothers of young children with Pervasive Developmental Disabilities (PDD) was associated with their participation in a relationship focused intervention. Nineteen parent-child dyads received weekly Responsive Teaching (RT) intervention sessions for 10 months. Results indicated significant pre-post-differences in parents' responsivenss with their children as well as children's development and social emotional functioning. Changes in mothers' responsivenss accounted for between 5 to 26% of the variance in intervention changes in children's development and social emotional functioning. While mothers' depressive symptoms were not associated with intervention changes in responsiveness, they were negatively associated with intervention changes in children's development and social emotional functioning. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for early intervention practice.