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Maternal depression across the first years of life compromises child psychosocial adjustment; relations to child HPA-axis functioning.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Feb; 64:47-56.P

Abstract

Maternal depression across the first years of life negatively impacts children's development. One pathway of vulnerability may involve functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We utilize a community cohort of 1983 women with no comorbid risk repeatedly assessed for depression from birth to six years to form two groups; chronically depressed (N=40) and non-depressed (N=91) women. At six years, mother and child underwent psychiatric diagnosis, child salivary cortisol (CT) was assessed three times during a home-visit, mother-child interaction was videotaped, and child empathy was coded from behavioral paradigms. Latent Growth curve Model using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) estimated the links between maternal depression and mother's negative parenting and three child outcomes; psychopathology, social withdrawal, and empathy as related to child CT baseline and variability. Depressed mothers displayed more negative parenting and their children showed more Axis-I psychopathology and social withdrawal. SEM analysis revealed that maternal depression was associated with reduced CT variability, which predicted higher child psychopathology and social withdrawal. Whereas all children exhibited similar initial levels of CT, children of controls reduced CT levels over time while children of depressed mothers maintained high, non-flexible levels. Mother negativity was related to lower initial CT levels, which predicted decreased empathy. Findings suggest that chronic maternal depression may compromise children's social-emotional adjustment by diminishing HPA-system flexibility as well as limiting the mother's capacity to provide attuned and predictable caregiving.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel.Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel.Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel.Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel.The Gonda Brain Sciences Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel.Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel; The Gonda Brain Sciences Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 5290002, Israel. Electronic address: feldman@mail.biu.ac.il.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26610204

Citation

Apter-Levi, Yael, et al. "Maternal Depression Across the First Years of Life Compromises Child Psychosocial Adjustment; Relations to Child HPA-axis Functioning." Psychoneuroendocrinology, vol. 64, 2016, pp. 47-56.
Apter-Levi Y, Pratt M, Vakart A, et al. Maternal depression across the first years of life compromises child psychosocial adjustment; relations to child HPA-axis functioning. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016;64:47-56.
Apter-Levi, Y., Pratt, M., Vakart, A., Feldman, M., Zagoory-Sharon, O., & Feldman, R. (2016). Maternal depression across the first years of life compromises child psychosocial adjustment; relations to child HPA-axis functioning. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 64, 47-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.11.006
Apter-Levi Y, et al. Maternal Depression Across the First Years of Life Compromises Child Psychosocial Adjustment; Relations to Child HPA-axis Functioning. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016;64:47-56. PubMed PMID: 26610204.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Maternal depression across the first years of life compromises child psychosocial adjustment; relations to child HPA-axis functioning. AU - Apter-Levi,Yael, AU - Pratt,Maayan, AU - Vakart,Adam, AU - Feldman,Michal, AU - Zagoory-Sharon,Orna, AU - Feldman,Ruth, Y1 - 2015/11/10/ PY - 2015/06/16/received PY - 2015/11/05/revised PY - 2015/11/07/accepted PY - 2015/11/27/entrez PY - 2015/11/27/pubmed PY - 2017/4/19/medline KW - Cortisol KW - Empathy KW - Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis KW - Longitudinal studies KW - Maternal depression KW - Parent-child Interactions KW - Social withdrawal SP - 47 EP - 56 JF - Psychoneuroendocrinology JO - Psychoneuroendocrinology VL - 64 N2 - Maternal depression across the first years of life negatively impacts children's development. One pathway of vulnerability may involve functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We utilize a community cohort of 1983 women with no comorbid risk repeatedly assessed for depression from birth to six years to form two groups; chronically depressed (N=40) and non-depressed (N=91) women. At six years, mother and child underwent psychiatric diagnosis, child salivary cortisol (CT) was assessed three times during a home-visit, mother-child interaction was videotaped, and child empathy was coded from behavioral paradigms. Latent Growth curve Model using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) estimated the links between maternal depression and mother's negative parenting and three child outcomes; psychopathology, social withdrawal, and empathy as related to child CT baseline and variability. Depressed mothers displayed more negative parenting and their children showed more Axis-I psychopathology and social withdrawal. SEM analysis revealed that maternal depression was associated with reduced CT variability, which predicted higher child psychopathology and social withdrawal. Whereas all children exhibited similar initial levels of CT, children of controls reduced CT levels over time while children of depressed mothers maintained high, non-flexible levels. Mother negativity was related to lower initial CT levels, which predicted decreased empathy. Findings suggest that chronic maternal depression may compromise children's social-emotional adjustment by diminishing HPA-system flexibility as well as limiting the mother's capacity to provide attuned and predictable caregiving. SN - 1873-3360 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26610204/Maternal_depression_across_the_first_years_of_life_compromises_child_psychosocial_adjustment L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0306-4530(15)30006-8 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -