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      The Relationship between Post-natal Depression and Mother–Child Interaction

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          Abstract

          The study was based on an index group of 49 mothers who had had depressive disorders in the post-natal year, and 49 control mothers who had been free from any psychiatric disorder since delivery. Nineteen months after childbirth, the interaction between mother and child was assessed by blind assessors using defined observational methods. Compared with controls, index mother-child pairs showed a reduced quality of interaction (e.g. mothers showed less facilitation of their children, children showed less affective sharing and less initial sociability with a stranger). Similar but reduced effects were seen in a subgroup of index mothers and children where the mother had recovered from depression by 19 months. Social and marital difficulties were associated with reduced quality of mother-child interaction.

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          The Denver developmental screening test.

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            Parental psychiatric disorder: effects on children

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              Life events and social support in puerperal depression.

              A 20 per cent prevalence of mild clinical depression was found in 120 women assessed at about six weeks postpartum. The strongest associated factor was occurrence of recent stressful life events. Previous history of psychiatric disorder, younger age, early postpartum blues, and a group of variables reflecting poor marital relationship and absence of social support were also notable. Poor marital support acted as a vulnerability factor, only producing an effect in presence of stressful life events. Previous psychiatric history produced a strong independent effect, both with and without life events. Postpartum blues were only associated with depression in the absence of life events, suggesting a small hormonal sub-group. Overall the findings indicate the importance of social stress in puerperal depression.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                applab
                British Journal of Psychiatry
                Br J Psychiatry
                Royal College of Psychiatrists
                0007-1250
                1472-1465
                January 1991
                January 2 2018
                January 1991
                : 158
                : 01
                : 46-52
                Article
                10.1192/bjp.158.1.46
                2015451
                68dcdb86-bbcd-4086-86d0-9506dfc967df
                © 1991
                History

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