Big News Network

Mothers with pre-pregnancy depression pass symptoms on to their children, study finds

Washington [US]June 5 (ANI): According to a new psychological study from UCLA, children whose mothers experience increasing levels of depression from the time of conception until shortly after childbirth are more likely to develop problems emotional, social and academic during their adolescence.

Their recently published seven-year study, which followed mothers and offspring from preconception to age 5, is the first to demonstrate how changes in mothers’ level of depression over time can have an impact on early childhood behavior and emotional well-being, the authors said.

The research results were published in the “Journal of Affective Disorders”.

“Our results suggest that increased maternal symptoms of depression from preconception to postpartum contribute to children’s decreased attention and behavioral control, which may increase the risk of lifelong problems. of life,” said lead author Gabrielle Rinne, a UCLA psychology graduate student. “Parents should be aware, however, that this can be resolved with early intervention.” For the two-part study, researchers first analyzed data from 362 women — most of whom were black or Hispanic and from low-income backgrounds — collected as part of a study conducted by Community Child Health. Network, a collaboration between health scientists from UCLA and other institutions, as well as community partners, that investigated maternal and child health disparities among poor and minority families.

The women, all of whom already had a young child, were followed during a subsequent pregnancy and were asked four times about their symptoms of depression — once before becoming pregnant, twice during pregnancy and again around three months. after the birth of their baby — with researchers monitoring how these symptoms have changed over time.

Just under 75% of the women reported mild symptoms of depression that did not change over the study period, while 12% had mild symptoms that increased significantly and 7% had persistent symptoms.

For the second part of the study, the researchers followed 125 of these women several years later. When their children were 4 years old or preschool age, mothers were asked to describe in detail their child’s temperament and behavior, in particular their experiences of emotional distress and their ability to regulate their emotions.

Then, at age 5, the children performed a task requiring focused attention. Looking at an iPad screen showing a series of fish, they were asked to identify the direction the middle fish was facing while ignoring the direction of all other fish. Higher scores on this task reflect a greater ability to focus and inhibit attention to surrounding stimuli, Rinne said.

Children of mothers whose depression worsened from preconception to the postpartum period performed significantly worse on the computer task than those whose mothers reported consistently low symptoms of depression.

Interestingly, there was no difference in performance between children whose mothers had consistently high depression and those whose mothers had consistently low depression.

“This study suggests that a pattern of escalating depression can negatively affect children,” said lead author Christine Dunkel Schetter, a distinguished professor of psychology and psychiatry at UCLA who played a leading role in the design of the study and in the development of the interviews.

She noted that not all of these children are destined to experience problems, but pointed out that “they are at greater risk for social-emotional and behavioral problems and problems in school. Children whose mothers consistently report mild symptoms of depression, she says, are not at risk. Dunkel Schetter. “They can seek evaluation and treatment from a doctor or mental health professional for their children and for themselves.” Adding a child to the family is a significant emotional and psychological adjustment that can involve both joy and distress,” Rinne said. “Maternal depression is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and postpartum.” In Los Angeles County, she pointed out, estimates of depression during pregnancy and among new mothers range up to 25 percent.

The study findings, Rinne said, support “the importance of comprehensive mental health care across multiple periods of reproductive life,” beginning even before pregnancy and continuing afterward — especially for mothers who feel a level of distress high at all times. (ANI)

#Mothers #prepregnancy #depression #pass #symptoms #children #study #finds

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *