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Impact Of Maternal Postnatal Depression On Cognitive Development Of Young Children

S. R. Cogill, H. L. Caplan, Heather Alexandra, Kay Mordecai Robson and R. Kumar
British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition)
Vol. 292, No. 6529 (May 3, 1986), pp. 1165-1167
Published by: BMJ
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29523072
Page Count: 3
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Impact Of Maternal Postnatal Depression On Cognitive Development Of Young Children
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Abstract

Ninety four women and their first born children took part in a longitudinal study of maternal mental health during pregnancy and after delivery. The children's cognitive functioning was assessed at age 4 using the McCarthy scales, without knowledge of the mothers' psychiatric history or current health. As expected girls performed slightly better than boys and children from middle class and professional families did better than children from working class homes, as did children whose mothers had achieved at least one A level at school. Significant intellectual deficits were found in the children whose mothers had suffered with depression, but only when this depression occurred in the first year of the child's life. Marital conflict and a history of paternal psychiatric problems were independently linked with lower cognitive test scores; together with a working class home background these were the only factors that contributed to the deleterious effect of maternal postnatal depression.

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