New Study on Trajectories in Maternal Depression and Children's Behavior

Developmental cognitive neuroscientist Adele Diamond is one of the authors of this new study from the University of British Columbia.  Diamond is a leader in the field of developmental cognitive neuroscience.  

Title:  Maternal depression trajectories from pregnancy to 3 years postpartum are associated with children’s behavior and executive functions at 3 and 6 years

Journal:  Archives of Women's Health

Authors:  Mina Park, Ursula Brain, Ruth E. Grunau, Adele Diamond, Tim F. Oberlander

Abstract:  "The objective of this study was to investigate how patterns of maternal depressive symptoms from mid-pregnancy to 3 years postpartum are associated with children’s behavior at age 3 years and executive functions. Maternal depressive symptoms were measured from mid-pregnancy to 3 years postpartum. Growth mixture modeling was used on standardized maternal depression scores (n = 147) to identify trajectories. Children’s behavioral problems and mental health symptomatology (internalizing, externalizing, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) were obtained at 3 and 6 years. EFs were assessed by a laboratory-based computerized task and maternal-report at 6 years. Multivariable linear regressions of children’s outcomes against maternal depressive symptom trajectories were conducted (n = 103). Three distinct patterns of maternal depressive symptom trajectories were identified: low (n = 105), increasing (n = 27), and decreasing (n = 15). Children of mothers whose depressive symptoms increased reported more problem behaviors at 3 years and poorer EFs at 6 years as assessed by both instruments, but no significant differences in mental health symptomatology at 6 years, relative to those whose mothers had consistently low depressive symptoms. Children whose mothers became less depressed over time had comparable levels of behavioral problems at age 3, executive functions, and internalizing and externalizing scores at age 6; and fewer reported ADHD behaviors at age 6, than those whose mothers remained less depressed over time. If mothers’ depressive symptoms improve over the first 3 years postpartum, their children’s outlook may be comparable to those whose mothers had consistently low depressive symptoms."

http://www.devcogneuro.com/Publications/Park(2018)_maternal_depression.pdf

Dr. Diamond's developmental cognitive neuroscience website:  http://www.devcogneuro.com/