Child Development, Maternal Depression and Associated Factors: A Longitudinal Study
Keywords:depression, child development, mental health, maternity
Maternal depression can compromise child development, but little about its effects has been investigated since the pregnancy stage. This longitudinal study aimed to compare, in two moments, the development of children of mothers with depressive symptoms and to identify whether these symptoms and other sociodemographic variables were associated with development at 6 and 14 months. One hundred and thirty nine women answered a questionnaire referring to sociodemographic and birth data and the Beck Depression Inventory, in the third gestational trimester, 6 and 14 months after childbirth. At 6 and 14 months of age, children were assessed using the Denver Developmental Screening Test. There was a high percentage of babies at risk at 6 and 14 months. Depressive symptoms were associated with delays in the development of subareas, but not with overall development. It is believed that the relationship between maternal depression and developmental delay is mediated by other variables that indirectly interfere in the process and would need further investigation.
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