Pediatric Annals

CME Article 

Maternal Depression and Child Outcomes

Patti L. Johnson, PhD; Eric M. Flake, MD

  • Pediatric Annals. 2007;36(4)
  • Posted April 1, 2007

Abstract

Among the various factors influencing child behavioral and developmental outcomes, parental functioning, parent-child relationships, and the home environment have consistently emerged as important variables. Being raised in a family where one or both parents experience mental health problems, particularly depression, can result in detrimental cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes in their children. Although genetic factors certainly contribute to this relationship, environmental factors also contribute substantially. Most research has looked at maternal depression, with little attention on paternal depression.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Patti L. Johnson, PhD, is Director, Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington. Eric M Flake, MD, is Major, Medical Corps, U.S. Air Force, and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow, Madigan Army Medical Center.

Address correspondence to: Patti L. Johnson, PhD, Madigan Army Medical Center, Attention: MCHJ-P, Tacoma WA 98431; or email: Patti.johnson@amedd.army.mil.

The authors disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how maternal depression affects the parent-child relationship.
  2. Describe at least one characteristic of maternal depression in infants, toddlers/preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents.
  3. Recommend at least one officebased technique to screen at-risk families, as well an intervention to use with identified families.

Abstract

Among the various factors influencing child behavioral and developmental outcomes, parental functioning, parent-child relationships, and the home environment have consistently emerged as important variables. Being raised in a family where one or both parents experience mental health problems, particularly depression, can result in detrimental cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes in their children. Although genetic factors certainly contribute to this relationship, environmental factors also contribute substantially. Most research has looked at maternal depression, with little attention on paternal depression.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Patti L. Johnson, PhD, is Director, Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington. Eric M Flake, MD, is Major, Medical Corps, U.S. Air Force, and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow, Madigan Army Medical Center.

Address correspondence to: Patti L. Johnson, PhD, Madigan Army Medical Center, Attention: MCHJ-P, Tacoma WA 98431; or email: Patti.johnson@amedd.army.mil.

The authors disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how maternal depression affects the parent-child relationship.
  2. Describe at least one characteristic of maternal depression in infants, toddlers/preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents.
  3. Recommend at least one officebased technique to screen at-risk families, as well an intervention to use with identified families.

Among the various factors influencing child behavioral and developmental outcomes, parental functioning, parent-child relationships, and the home environment have consistently emerged as important variables. Being raised in a family where one or both parents experience mental health problems, particularly depression, can result in detrimental cognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes in their children. Although genetic factors certainly contribute to this relationship, environmental factors also contribute substantially. Most research has looked at maternal depression, with little attention on paternal depression.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Patti L. Johnson, PhD, is Director, Pediatric Psychology Fellowship Program, Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington. Eric M Flake, MD, is Major, Medical Corps, U.S. Air Force, and Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics Fellow, Madigan Army Medical Center.

Address correspondence to: Patti L. Johnson, PhD, Madigan Army Medical Center, Attention: MCHJ-P, Tacoma WA 98431; or email: Patti.johnson@amedd.army.mil.

The authors disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

  1. Explain how maternal depression affects the parent-child relationship.
  2. Describe at least one characteristic of maternal depression in infants, toddlers/preschoolers, school-age children, and adolescents.
  3. Recommend at least one officebased technique to screen at-risk families, as well an intervention to use with identified families.

Sign up to receive

Journal E-contents