Trajectories of maternal depression over 7 years: Relations with child psychophysiology and behavior and role of contextual risks
This study examines the relation between the longitudinal course of maternal depression during the child's early life and children's psychophysiology and behavior at age 6.5 years. One hundred fifty-nine children of depressed and nondepressed mothers were followed from infancy through age 6.5 years. Growth mixture modeling was used to identify classes of depressed mothers based on the longitudinal course of the mother's depression. School-aged children of chronically depressed mothers were found to have elevated externalizing behavior problems, decreased social competence, reduced frontal brain activation (EEG power), and higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity. Children of mothers with decreasing and stable mild depression were found to have increased hyperactivity and attention problems compared to children of nondepressed mothers. Contextual risk factors were found to mediate the relation between maternal depression and child behavioral outcomes.
Available from: M. Ann Easterbrooks
- "In a study of primiparous high-risk mothers enrolled in a home visiting program, Ammerman and colleagues (2009) found that half of mothers who showed elevated symptoms in the prenatal or early postnatal period were no longer depressed nine months later. Another study that examined patterns of depression (Ashman et al., 2008) found three trajectories: " chronic severe " (high and stable symptoms), " decreasing " and " stable-mild " (low and stable symptoms). We were interested in investigating a) whether we would observe patterns of stable depression and decreasing depression in a sample of young mothers at high risk for depression in the early years of parenting, and b) whether stability or resilience in early depression would be associated with protective factors in a young mother's environment (e.g., perceived support from the father, and the social resource of a home visiting program). "
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ABSTRACT: The negative consequences of maternal depression are a major public health concern, both for mothers and for their children. Despite the high prevalence of depression among adolescent mothers, little is known about the patterns of adolescent mothers' depression in the early parenting years. The present study examined mothers' depression during the first 2 years following childbirth in a sample of 428 young mothers (20 or younger at first childbirth) who were participants in a randomized controlled trial of a home visiting parenting support program. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the self-reported Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Mothers were classified into groups based on whether their depressive symptoms were below or above the cutoff for clinically significant symptomatology. Depression groups (stable nondepressed, stable depressed, remitted depression) were associated with variations in mothers' satisfaction with support from the baby's father and enrollment in the home visiting program. Maternal depression was more likely to remit when mothers were satisfied with father support; assignment to the home visiting program was associated with mothers remaining mentally healthy. Results have clinical and policy implications for prevention and intervention programs. (PsycINFO Database Record
Available from: Clemens M H Hosman
- "The latter risk factors are either directly caused by the parent's behavior, cognitions and emotions, or through a myriad of familial and contextual stressors associated with parental mental illness, such as marital discord, isolation, and poverty (Goodman and Gotlib 1999; Hosman et al. 2009). Numerous empirical studies have demonstrated that nonspecific risk factors, such as parental mental illness severity and chronicity, are the most important predictors of child functioning rather than the parental illness diagnosis per se (Ashman et al. 2008; Foster et al. 2008; Hammen et al. 1990; Schreier et al. 2008). In addition, empirical studies have shown that children of parents with different diagnoses are at risk of similar problems (Biederman et al. 2001; Friedmann et al. 1997; Rutter and Quinton 1984), a phenomenon known as transgenerational equifinality (Cicchetti and Rogosch 1996; Cicchetti and Toth 2009). "
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ABSTRACT: Children of mentally ill parents are at high risk of developing problems themselves. They are often identified and approached as a homogeneous group, despite diversity in parental diagnoses. Some studies demonstrate evidence for transgenerational equifinality (children of parents with various disorders are at risk of similar problems) and multifinality (children are at risk of a broad spectrum of problems). At the same time, other studies indicate transgenerational specificity (child problems are specifically related to the parent's diagnosis) and concordance (children are mainly at risk of the same disorder as their parent). Better insight into the similarities and differences between children of parents with various mental disorders is needed and may inform the development and evaluation of future preventive interventions for children and their families. Accordingly, we systematically compared 76 studies on diagnoses in children of parents with the most prevalent axis I disorders: unipolar depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. Methodological characteristics of the studies were compared, and outcomes were analyzed for the presence of transgenerational equifinality, multifinality, specificity, and concordance. Also, the strengths of the relationships between child and parent diagnoses were investigated. This review showed that multifinality and equifinality appear to be more of a characteristic of children of unipolar and bipolar parents than of children of anxious parents, whose risk is mainly restricted to developing anxiety disorders. For all children, risk transmission is assumed to be partly specific since the studies indicate a strong tendency for children to develop the same disorder as their parent.
- "In relation to behavior problems in particular, two facets of maternal functioning appear to be critical. First, the results of numerous research studies indicate that maternal mental health, especially depressive symptomatology, is associated with child behavior problems (Ashman et al. 2008; Cents et al. 2013; Sterba et al. 2007). These associations between maternal depressive symptoms and children's behavior problems may be partly due to the biological effects of genetic loading and intra-uterine factors related to genetic transmission from mother to child (Cents et al. 2013; Goodman and Tully 2008). "
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ABSTRACT: Children with disabilities tend to have higher levels of behavior problems than other children. Such problems have implications for psychopathology in the young adult years, with possible effects on life course opportunities such as employment and independent living. This investigation examines the developmental course of both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems by employing person-centered analyses to construct patterns of change in behavior problems in 169 children (54 % male) with early diagnosed disabilities, from age 3 to age 18. Early childhood predictors of these patterns indicated that more adverse patterns of both types of behavior problems were predicted by higher maternal depressive symptoms. Greater impacts on the family of having a child with a disability predicted more adverse patterns of internalizing behavior problems. More adaptive patterns of externalizing behavior problems were predicted by positive maternal sensitivity to a child's distress. These findings suggest the need for early intervention focused on the family system.
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