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      Chronicity, severity, and timing of maternal depressive symptoms: Relationships with child outcomes at age 5.

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          Abstract

          The relationships between severity, chronicity, and timing of maternal depressive symptoms and child outcomes were examined in a cohort of 4,953 children. Mothers provided self-reports of depressive symptoms during pregnancy, immediately postpartum, and when the child was 6 months old and 5 years old. At the age 5 follow-up, mothers reported on children's behavior and children completed a receptive vocabulary test. Results suggest that both the severity and the chronicity of maternal depressive symptoms are related to more behavior problems and lower vocabulary scores in children. The interaction of severity and chronicity of maternal depressive symptoms was significantly related to higher levels of child behavior problems. Timing of maternal symptoms was not significantly related to child vocabulary scores, but more recent reports of maternal depressive symptoms were associated with higher rates of child behavior problems.

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          Most cited references18

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          Children of depressed parents: an integrative review.

          This article reviews the various literatures on the adjustment of children of depressed parents, difficulties in parenting and parent-child interaction in these families, and contextual factors that may play a role in child adjustment and parent depression. First, issues arising from the recurrent, episodic, heterogeneous nature of depression are discussed. Second, studies on the adjustment of children with a depressed parent are summarized. Early studies that used depressed parents as controls for schizophrenic parents found equivalent risk for child disturbance. Subsequent studies using better-defined samples of depressed parents found that these children were at risk for a full range of adjustment problems and at specific risk for clinical depression. Third, the parenting difficulties of depressed parents are described and explanatory models of child adjustment problems are outlined. Contextual factors, particularly marital distress, remain viable alternative explanations for both child and parenting problems. Fourth, important gaps in the literature are identified, and a consistent, if unintentional, "mother-bashing" quality in the existing literature is noted. Given the limitations in knowledge, large-scale, long-term, longitudinal studies would be premature at this time.
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            The impact of postnatal depression on infant development.

            L. Murray (1992)
            A large sample of primiparous women was screened for depression after childbirth. Those identified as depressed, women with a previous history of depression and a control group were followed up to 18 months, when their infants were assessed on measures of cognitive, social and behavioral development. Infants of postnatally depressed mothers performed worse on object concept tasks, were more insecurely attached to their mothers and showed more mild behavioural difficulties. Postnatal depression had no effect on general cognitive and language development, but appeared to make infants more vulnerable to adverse effects of lower social class and male gender.
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              Maternal Depression and Child Development

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Developmental Psychology
                Developmental Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-0599
                0012-1649
                2000
                2000
                : 36
                : 6
                : 759-766
                Article
                10.1037/0012-1649.36.6.759
                11081699
                bea1c36e-123d-4799-a0af-40f4107dcc7f
                © 2000
                History

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