Maternal childhood abuse and offspring adjustment over time. Dev Psychopathol

University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 02/2007; 19(2):367-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579407070186
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Other changes that may be implicated in mental health problems include increasing exposure to screen time, internet, and social media (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009; Carli et al., 2014; O'Keeffe and Clarke- Pearson, 2011; Primack et al., 2009) and increasing pressure within contemporary school settings (Ferrada de Noli, 2013; Sweeting et al., 2010; West and Sweeting, 2003). However, some studies have not been able to identify factors explaining increasing mental health problems across cohorts (Collishaw et al., 2007, 2012). Other commentators have discussed more broad concerns about the negative impact of Western culture on child and adolescent development (Eckersley 2008) or the emergence of narcissism in college students (Twenge et al., 2008). "
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    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
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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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    ABSTRACT: Our goal was to examine the trajectory of bonding impairment across the first 6 months postpartum in the context of maternal risk, including maternal history of childhood abuse and neglect and postpartum psychopathology, and to test the association between self-reported bonding impairment and observed positive parenting behaviors. In a sample of women with childhood abuse and neglect histories (CA+, n = 97) and a healthy control comparison group (CA-, n = 53), participants completed questionnaires related to bonding with their infants at 6 weeks, 4 months, and 6 months postpartum and psychopathology at 6 months postpartum. In addition, during a 6-month postpartum home visit, mothers and infants participated in a dyadic play interaction subsequently coded for positive parenting behaviors by blinded coders. We found that all women, independent of risk status, increased in bonding with their infant over the first 6 months postpartum; however, women with postpartum psychopathology (depression and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) showed consistently greater bonding impairment scores at all timepoints. Moreover, we found that, at the 6-month assessment, bonding impairment and observed parenting behaviors were significantly associated. These results highlight the adverse effects of maternal postpartum depression and PTSD on mother-infant bonding in early postpartum in women with child abuse and neglect histories. These findings also shed light on the critical need for early detection and effective treatment of postpartum mental illness in order to prevent problematic parenting and the development of disturbed mother-infant relationships. Results support the use of the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire as a tool to assess parenting quality by its demonstrated association with observed parenting behaviors.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Archives of Women s Mental Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Depression in fathers in the postnatal period is associated with an increased risk of behavioural problems in their offspring, particularly for boys. The aim of this study was to examine for differential effects of depression in fathers on children’s subsequent psychological functioning via a natural experiment comparing prenatal and postnatal exposure. Methods: In a longitudinal population cohort study (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)) we examined the associations between depression in fathers measured in the prenatal and postnatal period (measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), and later behavioural/emotional and psychiatric problems in their children, assessed at ages 3½ and 7 years. Results: Children whose fathers were depressed in both the prenatal and postnatal periods had the highest risks of subsequent psychopathology, measured by total problems at age 3½ years (Odds Ratio 3.55; 95% confidence interval 2.07, 6.08) and psychiatric diagnosis at age 7 years (OR 2.54; 1.19, 5.41). Few differences emerged when prenatal and postnatal depression exposure were directly compared, but when compared to fathers who were not depressed, boys whose fathers had postnatal depression only had higher rates of conduct problems aged 3½ years (OR 2.14; 1.22, 3.72) whereas sons of the prenatal group did not (OR 1.41; .75, 2.65). These associations changed little when controlling for maternal depression and other potential confounding factors. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that the increased risk of later conduct problems, seen particularly in the sons of depressed fathers, maybe partly mediated through environmental means. In addition, children whose fathers are more chronically depressed appear to be at a higher risk of emotional and behavioural problems. Efforts to identify the precise mechanisms by which transmission of risk may occur should be encouraged to enable the development of focused interventions to mitigate risks for young children.
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