Maternal depression and child BMI: Longitudinal findings from a US sample

Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University-NYSPI, New York, NY 10032, USA.
Pediatric Obesity (Impact Factor: 4.57). 04/2012; 7(2):124-33. DOI: 10.1111/j.2047-6310.2011.00012.x
Source: PubMed


To examine the association between maternal depression and child body mass index (BMI) from Kindergarten (K) to fifth grade.
Analysis of four waves of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten spanning K to fifth grade. Maternal depressive symptoms (MDSs) were measured by a brief version of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression scale. Data were analyzed using multiple regression analyses, adjusting for key covariates and potential confounders. The analytic sample was restricted to children of normal birth weight.
The relationship between MDS and child BMI varies by child gender and age. Among girls, severe MDS at K was related to lower BMI at third grade (but not later at fifth grade) and to an increase in BMI from K to third and K to fifth grades. Among boys, severe MDS at K was related to higher boys' BMI at fifth grade. When severe MDS occurred at third grade, it was related to higher BMI at fifth grade among girls whereas no statistically significant relationship was found for boys. Low levels of physical activity in comparison to peers at fifth grade and more screen time on weekends at third grade are likely mediators of the relationship between MDS and child BMI among girls, while among boys the relationship appears to be mediated by unhealthy eating habits.
Our findings, indicating developmental and gender differences in the relationship between maternal depression and child BMI, if confirmed, suggest that interventions addressing maternal depression may have concomitant impact on childhood obesity.

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    • "Maternal depressive symptoms are known risk factors for poor child development outcomes (e.g., Beck, 1998; Cooper and Murray, 1998). Various studies have documented impairments in children of depressed parents on an array of factors such as growth (Duarte et al., 2012; Santos et al., 2010), mental health (Muzik and Borovska, 2010), illness (Casey et al., 2004; Turney, 2011), feeding (Casey et al., 2004; Ndokera and MacArthur, 2011; Rahman et al., 2004) and cognitive development (Azak, 2012). Because there is an emerging literature documenting links between postpartum depression and differences in child development (Conroy et al., 2012; Foss et al., 2004; Korja et al., 2008; Paulson et al., 2006, 2009; Podestá et al., 2013; Quevedo et al., 2012; Walker et al., 2007), international research in this area is timely and important. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ) is a screening instrument that has been shown to be an effective measure of depression in postpartum women and is widely used in developing nations. Methods The SRQ was administered to 2028 mothers from eight nations at two time points: one and six months postpartum. All data were obtained from the Interactions of Malnutrition and Enteric Infections: Consequences for Child Health and Development (MAL-ED) study. The sample included women from MAL-ED sites in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, and Tanzania. This study examined three aspects of validity of SRQ scores including (a) structural validity, (b) cross-cultural invariance, and (c) invariance over time. Results A 16-item, one-factor structure with items reflecting somatic symptoms removed was deemed to be superior to the original structure in this postpartum population. Although differential item functioning (DIF) across sites was evident the one-factor model was a good fit to the data from seven sites, and the structure was invariant across the one- and six-month time points. Limitations Findings are based on data from self-report scales. No information about the clinical status of the participants was available. Conclusions Overall, findings support the validity of a modified model of the SRQ among postpartum women. Somatic symptoms (e.g., headaches, not sleeping well) may not reflect internalizing problems in a postpartum population. Implications for researchers and practitioners are discussed.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 10/2014; 167:178–186. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.05.039 · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    • "Chronicity of maternal depression Chronicity 9 a 8 (marginal significance) Country US 2, 3, 9 a 6 a , 7 a Non-US 4 1, 5, 8 1, Ajslev et al. (2010); 2, Duarte et al. (2012); 3, Ertel et al. (2010); 4, Ertel et al. (2012); 5, Grote et al. (2010); 6, Lane et al. (2013) "
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal depression is prevalent and has been associated with parenting practices that influence child weight. In this systematic review we aimed to examine the prospective association between maternal depression and child overweight. We searched four databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, Embase, and Academic Search Premier) to identify studies for inclusion. We included studies with a prospective design with at least one year follow-up, measuring maternal depression at any stage after childbirth, and examining child overweight or obesity status, BMI z-score or percentile, or adiposity. Two authors extracted data independently and findings were qualitatively synthesized. We identified nine prospective studies for inclusion. Results were examined separately for episodic depression (depression at a single measurement occasion) and chronic depression (depression on multiple measurement occasions). Mixed results were observed for the relationship between episodic depression and indicators of child adiposity. Chronic depression, but not episodic depression, was associated with greater risk for child overweight. While chronic depression may be associated with child overweight, further research is needed. Research is also needed to determine whether maternal depression influences child weight outcomes in adolescence and to investigate elements of the family ecology that may moderate the effect of maternal depression on child overweight.
    Preventive Medicine 11/2013; 59(1). DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.11.020 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To characterize the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms and child weight status, obesity-promoting feeding practices, and activity-related behaviors in low-income urban families. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of mothers with 5-year-old children receiving pediatric care at a federally qualified community health center. We used regression analyses to examine the relationship between maternal depressive symptoms (trichotomized: none, mild, moderate to severe) and 1) child weight status; 2) obesity-promoting feeding practices, including mealtime practices and feeding styles; and 3) activity-related behaviors, including sleep time, screen time, and outdoor playtime. The sample included 401 mother-child pairs (78.3% response rate), with 23.4% of mothers reporting depressive symptoms (15.7% mild, 7.7% moderate to severe). Mothers with moderate to severe depressive symptoms were more likely to have overweight and obese children than mothers without depressive symptoms (adjusted odds ratio 2.62; 95% confidence interval 1.02-6.70). Children of mildly depressed mothers were more likely to consume sweetened drinks and to eat out at restaurants and were less likely to eat breakfast than children of nondepressed mothers. Mothers with depressive symptoms were less likely to set limits, to use food as a reward, to restrict their child's intake, and to model healthy eating than nondepressed mothers. Children with depressed mothers had less sleep and outdoor playtime per day than children of nondepressed mothers. Maternal depressive symptoms are associated with child overweight and obese status and with several obesity-promoting practices. These results support the need for maternal depression screening in pediatric obesity prevention programs. Further research should explore how to incorporate needed mental health support.
    Academic pediatrics 07/2013; 13(4):356-63. DOI:10.1016/j.acap.2013.04.002 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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