A Longitudinal Study of Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Negative Expectations and Perceptions of Child Problems

Department of Child Psychiatry, Tampere University Hospital, University of Tampere, Medical School.
Child Psychiatry and Human Development (Impact Factor: 1.93). 02/2004; 35(1):37-53. DOI: 10.1023/B:CHUD.0000039319.96151.63
Source: PubMed


The aim of this longitudinal study was to examine the associations between maternal depressive symptoms and perceptions of children's problems. One hundred and nineteen mother-child dyads were followed from the third trimester of pregnancy for almost 10 years. Depressive symptoms and background factors of the mothers and the anticipated/perceived problems of their firstborn were assessed prenatally, postnatally, and when the child was 4-5 years and 8-9 years old. The simultaneous and long-term associations between maternal depressive symptoms and child's problems were examined. Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms, the continuity of negative expectations to postnatal problem perceptions, and high problem level at 4-5 years of child's age predicted high problem level in 8-9-year-olds.

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    • "For example, maternal depression has been linked with teacherreported behavior problems in older school-age children (e.g., Hammen et al., 1987). However, some studies have reported weaker links between maternal depression and teacher-reported child behavior compared to mother-reported behavior (Luoma et al., 2004), and others have found no link to teacher-reported behavior (Fergusson, Horwood, Gretton, & Shannon, 1985). Ordway (2011) outlined several possible reasons for these findings. "
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    ABSTRACT: Research Findings: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between low-level depressive symptoms in mothers and teacher-reported child behavioral outcomes. Participants included 442 low-income mothers of preschool-age children who were screened for maternal depression by their child's preschool teacher. Teacher reports of child behavior problems were collected on a random sample of the children (n = 264). Of mothers screened for depression, 16.7% reported low-level depressive symptoms (below the cutoff on the screener indicating clinically elevated symptoms). Analyses revealed that children of mothers with low-level depressive symptoms had significantly greater problems with externalizing behavior compared to children of mothers with no depressive symptoms. Practice or Policy: Results suggest that children whose mothers experience even low-level depressive symptoms are at risk for problems with behavior, pointing to the need for screening and interventions to address maternal depression at all levels of severity. Early childhood education providers are in an excellent position to support families impacted by symptoms of maternal depression through screening and education, supportive daily interactions, and referrals for services if needed. Teachers can also provide direct support for high-risk children's social and emotional skill development through the provision of sensitive, nurturing care.
    Early Education and Development 11/2014; 26(2):230-244. DOI:10.1080/10409289.2015.979725 · 0.84 Impact Factor
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    • "In relation to psychological and emotional factors, several studies have shown that mothers' perceptions of their children are related to their emotional states and to their personality characteristics. Thus, depressive symptoms (Luoma et al. 2004) and high neuroticism (Romero et al. 1993) in the mother are related to less positive and more negative descriptions of their children. Belsky and colleagues (1995) found that mothering was more consistently predicted by personality and mood than fathering, that neuroticism was the most consistent predictor of men's and women's parenting style, and that extraversion played a larger role in predicting fathering than mothering. "
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    ABSTRACT: Father and mother neonatal perceptions can alter the parents' behaviour towards their child and influence their relationship and, consequently, his/her development. The aim of this study was to examine how mother-father perceptions of their neonates evolve during the first month of life, and whether these perceptions, and the psychological and social characteristics of the mothers are good predictors of infant development. Seventy-two mother-father-child triads participated. Maternal personality, including neuroticism, and maternal depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed. Parents' neonatal perceptions and neonatal behaviour were assessed at 3 days and at 1 month post partum and infant development at 4 and 12 months post partum. Parents' initial perceptions were positive, decreased in both parents during the first month and evolved differently according to the child's gender. High maternal neuroticism was related to worse neonatal perceptions, and high father perception was related to better infant development at 12 months. These results support the contribution of parents' neonatal perception on infant development and may have social implications regarding the role of fathers in the parenting of their children.
    Child Care Health and Development 03/2011; 37(4):484-92. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01210.x · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    • "Their negative affect continues into later infancy (Huot, Brennan, Stowe, Plotsky, & Walker, 2004), and their cortisol responses to mild stressors are predictive of negative affect even at the toddler stage. Infants of depressed mothers also show inferior mental, motor and emotional development (Murray & Cooper, 1997; Patel, Rodriguez & DeSouza, 2002; Sondergaard et al., 2003), and later social and emotional problems during childhood including less emotional well-being as well as internalizing and externalizing problems (Luoma et al., 2001, 2004; O'Connor, Heron, Glover, Golding & ALSPAC Study Team, 2002a, 2002b, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: A review of research on prenatal depression effects on the fetus and newborn suggests that they experience prenatal, perinatal and postnatal complications. Fetal activity is elevated, prenatal growth is delayed, and prematurity and low birthweight occur more often. Newborns of depressed mothers then show a biochemical/physiological profile that mimics their mothers' prenatal biochemical/physiological profile including elevated cortisol, lower levels of dopamine and serotonin, greater relative right frontal EEG activation and lower vagal tone. Elevated prenatal maternal cortisol is the strongest predictor of these neonatal outcomes. Moderate pressure massage can alleviate these effects including reducing prematurity.
    Infant behavior & development 08/2006; 29(3):445-55. DOI:10.1016/j.infbeh.2006.03.003 · 1.34 Impact Factor
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