Title: Antenatal anxiety predicts child behavioral/emotional problems independently of postnatal depression
Author(s): O'Connor TG, Heron J, Glover V; The Alspac Study Team
Reference: J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2002 Dec;41(12):1470-7
Place of Study: UK
Abstract: The objective of this study was to examine the hypothesis that the effects of postnatal depression on children's behavioral/emotional problems are explained by antenatal maternal mood. The current study investigated this hypothesis in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective, community-based study that has followed a cohort of women since pregnancy (n = 7,144) who delivered their baby between April 1, 1991, and December 31, 1992. Self-report measures of maternal anxiety and depression were assessed at repeated intervals in pregnancy and the postnatal period. Children's behavioral/emotional problems were assessed by parent report at age 4 years. After controlling for smoking, alcohol use, birth weight for gestational age, maternal age, child sex, and socioeconomic status, postnatal depression at 8 weeks (OR = 2.27 [1.55-3.31]) and 8 months (OR = 1.68 [1.12-2.54]) was associated with children's behavioral/emotional problems. Subsequent analyses that included antenatal maternal mood indicated that antenatal anxiety in late pregnancy and not antenatal depression was also independently associated with behavioral/emotional problems at age 4 (OR = 1.72 [1.14-2.59]); 8 week postnatal depression remained a significant predictor after antenatal maternal mood was statistically controlled for (OR = 1.56 [1.04-2.32]). The conclusion of the authors is that antenatal anxiety and postnatal depression represent separate risks for behavioral/emotional problems in children and act in an additive manner.
Keyword(s): anxiety in pregnancy, postnatal depression
See Also: No related articles mentioned for this entry.