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NCJ Number: 192231 Find in a Library
Title: Longitudinal Study of Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Child Well-Being
Journal: Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry  Volume:40  Issue:12  Dated:December 2001  Pages:1367-1374
Author(s): Ilona Luoma M.D.; Tuula Tamminen M.D.; Palvi Kaukonen M.D.; Pekka Laippala Ph.D.; Kaija Puura M.D.; Raili Salmelin Ph.D.; Fredrik Almqvist M.D.
Editor(s): Mina K. Dulcan M.D.
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines whether maternal prenatal, postnatal, or concurrent maternal depressive symptoms were associated with low-level psychosocial functioning and high-level emotion/behavioral problems with school-aged children.
Abstract: After a 1989 Finland prospective follow-up study, this study set out to examine whether high levels of maternal prenatal, postnatal, or concurrent depressive symptoms were associated with a child’s psychosocial functioning and emotion/behavioral problems when a child is of school-age. In addition, it examined whether maternal prenatal and /or postnatal depressive symptoms were associated with a long term increased risk of low functioning or high problem levels in the child and the associations between the timing and the recurrence of a mother’s depressive symptoms, as well as the level of the child’s psychosocial functioning and symptomatology. The original longitudinal study (Finland) consisted of 349 healthy first-time mothers from 1989 to 1990. The latest stage of the study, 1997 to 1998, consisted of 188 mother-child pairs. Using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), a self-report questionnaire designed to detect depression among women in the postpartum period, depressive symptoms of mothers at different time points were screened. In addition, the mothers completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) questionnaire, designed to record children’s competencies and problems as reported by their parents. Study findings included: (1) an unexpected diversity and continual changes in maternal depressive symptom levels over time; (2) an unexpected lack of association between maternal depressive symptoms and internalizing problems of the children; and (3) concurrently symptomatic mothers reported more problems and lower competence in their children than the non-symptomatic mothers, concurring with previous studies. In lieu of these results, the impact of maternal postnatal depressive symptoms on a child’s emotional /behavioral problems in the long run were slight. However, due to study limitations, the results were tentative and needed confirmation. It is important to pay attention to the maternal depressive symptoms at each stage of motherhood, beginning at the prenatal stage. A child’s healthy development is dependent upon the early detection of potential risks. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency factors
Index Term(s): Family histories; Home environment; Juvenile Delinquent-nondelinquent comparisons; Juvenile mental health services; Juvenile psychological evaluation; Longitudinal studies; Parent-Child Relations; Psychological causes of delinquency
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