Maternal childhood abuse and offspring adjustment over time. Dev Psychopathol

MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 02/2007; 19(2):367-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579407070186
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study addressed the basis for the intergenerational transmission of psychosocial risk associated with maternal childhood abuse in relation to offspring adjustment. The study tested how far group differences in individual change in adjustment over time were explained by differences in exposure to specific environmental risk experiences. Data are drawn from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Information on mothers' own experience of childhood abuse, offspring adjustment at ages 4 and 7 years, and hypothesized mediators was available for 5,619 families. A residuals scores analysis was used to track children's adjustment over time. Maternal childhood abuse was associated with poorer behavioral trajectories between ages 4 and 7 years. Children of abused mothers were more likely to experience a range of negative life events between ages 4 and 7 years, including changes in family composition, separations from parents, "shocks and frights" and physical assaults. Interim life events, together with antecedent psychosocial risk (maternal antenatal affective symptoms, age 4 parental hostility, age 4 family type) fully mediated the association between maternal childhood abuse and offspring prognosis.The authors express their gratitude to the families who participated in the study. Support for these analyses was provided by a grant from the Medical Research Council. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) is part of the World Health Organisation initiated European Study of Pregnancy and Childhood, and is supported, among others, by the Wellcome Trust, The Department of Health, The Department of the Environment, and the Medical Research Council. The ALSPAC study team comprises interviewers, computer technicians, laboratory technicians, clerical workers, research scientists, volunteers, and managers who continue to make the study possible.

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Available from: Stephan Collishaw, Oct 31, 2014
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    • "This is particularly important as impaired mother-to-infant bonding may be a crucial early mechanism by which maternal abuse and neglect history may lead to disturbed parenting practice, which in turn, may lay the foundation for adverse child outcomes. Such adverse child outcomes including increased vulnerability to negative life events and poor behavioral trajectories from 4 to 7 years of age (Collishaw et al. 2007; Miranda et al. 2011), have been reported in offspring of mothers with childhood maltreatment histories; thus, elucidation of early predictors for such adverse outcomes may guide preventive practice. With the goals of closing these gaps in the extant literature and enhancing our current understanding of the effects of childhood maltreatment on perinatal psychopathology and mother–infant bonding, our group has recently investigated the associations between child abuse and neglect histories with peripartum depression and PTSD and possible effects on maternal bonding at 6 weeks postpartum using the PBQ (Seng et al. 2012). "
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