Skip to main content
×
Home

The duration and timing of maternal depression as a moderator of the relationship between dependent interpersonal stress, contextual risk and early child dysregulation

  • E. D. Barker (a1)
Abstract
Background

Risk factors that are associated with depression in the mother also negatively affect the child. This research sought to extend current knowledge by examining the duration and timing of maternal depression as a moderator of: (1) the impact of dependent interpersonal stress (DIS), such as partner conflict or low social support, and contextual risk (e.g. poverty) on child dysregulation; and (2) continuity in early child dysregulation.

Method

Mother–child pairs (n = 12 152) who participated in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were examined between pregnancy and age 4 years. Data on maternal depression were collected five times between pregnancy and 33 months postpartum; on DIS and contextual risk three times between pregnancy and 33 months; and on child dysregulation at age 2 and 4 years.

Results

Longitudinal latent class analysis identified a class of mothers (10%) who evinced a chronic level of depression between pregnancy and 33 months. For chronic-depressed versus non-depressed mothers, the results indicate that: (1) DIS predicted higher child dysregulation if experienced between pregnancy and age 2; (2) contextual risk had a differential effect on child dysregulation if experienced during pregnancy; and (3) children had higher continuity in dysregulation between age 2 and age 4.

Conclusions

Assessing the impact of the timing and duration of maternal depression, and different types of co-occurring risk factors, on child well-being is important. Maternal depression and associated DIS, in comparison to contextual risk, may be more responsive to intervention.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Dr E. D. Barker, Department of Psychological Science, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX, UK. (Email: t.barker@bbk.ac.uk)
References
Hide All
Ashman SB, Dawson G, Panagiotides H (2008). Trajectories of maternal depression over 7 years: relations with child psychophysiology and behavior and role of contextual risks. Development and Psychopathology 20, 5577.
Barker ED, Copeland W, Maughan B, Jaffee SR, Uher R (2012). Relative impact of maternal depression and associated risk factors on offspring psychopathology. British Journal of Psychiatry 200, 124129.
Barker ED, Jaffee SR, Uher R, Maughan B (2011). The contribution of prenatal and postnatal maternal anxiety and depression to child maladjustment. Depression and Anxiety 28, 696702.
Barker ED, Oliver BR, Maughan B (2010). Co-occurring problems of early onset persistent, childhood limited, and adolescent onset conduct problem youth. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 51, 12171226.
Bentler PM, Bonett DG (1980). Significance tests and goodness of fit in the analysis of covariance structures. Psychological Bulletin 88, 588606.
Billings AG, Moos RH (1983). Comparisons of children of depressed and nondepressed parents: a social-environmental perspective. Journal of Abnomal Child Psychology 11, 463485.
Bowen E, Heron J, Waylen A, Wolke D (2005). Risk for domestic violence during and after pregnancy: findings from a British longitudinal study. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 112, 10831089.
Boyd A, Golding J, Macleod J, Lawlor DA, Fraser A, Henderson J, Molloy L, Ness A, Ring S, Davey Smith G (2012). Cohort Profile: The ‘Children of the 90s’ – the index offspring of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. International Journal of Epidemiology. Published online: 16 04 2012. doi:10.1093/ije/dys064.
Brown GW, Craig TKJ, Harris TO (2008). Parental maltreatment and proximal risk factors using the Childhood Experience of Care & Abuse (CECA) instrument: a life-course study of adult chronic depression – 5. Journal of Affective Disorders 110, 222233.
Brown GW, Harris T (1978). Social Origins of Depression: A Study of Psychiatric Disorder in Women. Tavistock: London.
Browne MW, Cudeck R (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In Testing Structural Equation Models (ed. Bollen K. A. and Long J. S.), pp. 230258. Sage: Newbury Park, CA.
Campbell SB, Matestic P, von Stauffenberg C, Mohan R, Kirchner T (2007). Trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms, maternal sensitivity, and children's functioning at school entry. Developmental Psychology 43, 12021215.
Campbell SB, Morgan-Lopez AA, Cox MJ, McLoyd VC (2009). A latent class analysis of maternal depressive symptoms over 12 years and offspring adjustment in adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 118, 479493.
Carey WB, McDevitt SC (1978). Revision of the Infant Temperament Questionnaire. Pediatrics 61, 735739.
Cicchetti D, Rogosch FA, Toth SL (1998). Maternal depressive disorder and contextual risk: contributions to the development of attachment insecurity and behavior problems in toddlerhood. Development and Psychopathology 10, 283300.
Cox AD, Puckering C, Pound A, Mills M (1987 a). The impact of maternal depression in young children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 28, 917928.
Cox JL, Holden JM, Sagovsky R (1987 b). Detection of postnatal depression: the development of the Edinburgh 10-item Postnatal Depression Scale. British Journal of Psychiatry 150, 782786.
Croudace TJ, Jarvelin MR, Wadsworth MEJ, Jones PB (2003). Developmental typology of trajectories to nighttime bladder control: epidemiologic application of longitudinal latent class analysis. American Journal of Epidemiology 157, 834842.
Cummings EM, Goeke-Morey MC, Papp LM (2004). Everyday marital conflict and child aggression. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 32, 191202.
Cummings EM, Keller MB, Davies DR (2005). Towards a family process model of maternal and paternal depressive symptoms: exploring multiple relations with child and family functioning. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 46, 479489.
Curran PJ, Bollen KA (2001). The best of both worlds: combining autoregressive and latent curve models. In New Methods for the Analysis of Change (ed. Collins L. M. and Sayer A. G.), pp. 105135. American Psychological Association: Washington, DC.
Dennis C-L (2005). Psychosocial and psychological interventions for prevention of postnatal depression: systematic review. British Medical Journal 331, 15.
Enders CK (2010). Applied Missing Data Analysis. Guilford Press: New York.
Feldman R, Granat A, Pariente C, Kanety H, Kuint J, Gilboa-Schechtman E (2009). Maternal depression and anxiety across the postpartum year and infant social engagement, fear regulation, and stress reactivity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 48, 919927.
Fraser A, Macdonald-Wallis C, Tilling K, Boyd A, Golding J, Davey Smith G, Henderson J, Macleod J, Molloy L, Ness A, Ring S, Nelson SM, Lawlor DA (2012). Cohort profile: the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children: ALSPAC mothers cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology. Published online: 16 04 2012. doi:10.1093/ije/dys066.
Garber J, Ciesla JA, McCauley E, Diamond G, Schloredt KA (2011). Remission of depression in parents: links to healthy functioning in their children. Child Development 82, 226243.
Garber J, Cole DA (2010). Intergenerational transmission of depression: a launch and grow model of change across adolescence. Development and Psychopathology 22, 819830.
Glover V (2011). Annual Research Review: Prenatal stress and the origins of psychopathology: an evolutionary perspective. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 52, 356367.
Goodman R (2001). Psychometric properties of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 40, 13371345.
Goodman SH, Gotlib IH (1999). Risk for psychopathology in the children of depressed parents: a developmental approach to the understanding of mechanisms. Psychological Review 106, 458490.
Hammen C (1991). Generation of stress in the course of unipolar depression. Journal of Abnomal Psychology 100, 555561.
Hammen C (2006). Stress generation in depression: reflections on origins, research, and future directions. Journal of Clinical Psychology 62, 10651082.
Hammen C, Ellicott A, Gitlin M, Jamison KR (1989). Sociotropy/autonomy and vulnerability to specific life events in patients with unipolar depression and bipolar disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 98, 154160.
Hammen C, Gordon D, Burge D, Adrian C, Jaenicke C, Hiroto D (1987). Maternal affective disorders, illness, and stress: risk for children's psychopathology. American Journal of Psychiatry 144, 736741.
Hammen C, Shih JH, Brennan PA (2004). Intergenerational transmission of depression: test of an interpersonal stress model in a community sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 72, 511522.
Holden GW (2003). Children exposed to domestic violence and child abuse: terminology and taxonomy. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 6, 151160.
Kendler KS, Gardner CO (2010). Dependent stressful life events and prior depressive episodes in the prediction of major depression: the problem of causal inference in psychiatric epidemiology. Archives of General Psychiatry 67, 11201127.
Kendler KS, Gatz M, Gardner CO, Pedersen NL (2006). A Swedish national twin study of lifetime major depression. American Journal of Psychiatry 163, 109114.
Kessler RC (2003). Epidemiology of women and depression. Journal of Affective Disorders 74, 513.
Kessler RC, McLaughlin KA, Green JG, Gruber MJ, Sampson NA, Zaslavsky AM, Aguilar-Gaxiola S, Alhamzawi AO, Alonso J, Angermeyer M, Benjet C, Bromet E, Chatterji S, de Girolamo G, Demyttenaere K, Fayyad J, Florescu S, Gal G, Gureje O, Haro JM, Hu C-Y, Karam EG, Kawakami N, Lee S, Lépine J-P, Ormel J, Posada-Villa J, Sagar R, Tsang A, Üstün TB, Vassilev S, Viana MC, Williams DR (2010). Childhood adversities and adult psychopathology in the WHO World Mental Health Surveys. British Journal of Psychiatry 197, 378385.
Kohen DE, Leventhal T, Dahinten SV, McIntosh CN (2008). Neighborhood disadvantage: pathways of effects for young children. Child Development 79, 156169.
Miller GE, Chen E, Fok AK, Walker H, Lim A, Nicholls EF, Cole S, Kobor MS (2009). Low early-life social class leaves a biological residue manifested by decreased glucocorticoid and increased proinflammatory signaling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 1471614721.
Murray L, Carothers A (1990). The validation of the Edinburgh Post-natal Depression Scale on a community sample. British Journal of Psychiatry 157, 288290.
Muthén B (2004). Latent variable analysis: growth mixture modeling and related techniques for longitudinal data. In Handbook of Quantitative Methodology for the Social Sciences (ed. Kaplan D.), pp. 345368. Sage Publications: Newbury Park, CA.
Muthén LK, Muthén BO (1998–2010). Mplus. Statistical Analyses with Latent Variables. User's Guide. Muthén & Muthén: Los Angeles, CA.
Nagin DS (2005). Group-Based Modeling of Development Over the Life Course. Harvard University Press: Cambridge, MA.
Oberlander TF, Weinberg J, Papsdorf M, Grunau R, Misri S, Devlin AM (2008). Prenatal exposure to maternal depression, neonatal methylation of human glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) and infant cortisol stress responses. Epigenetics 3, 97106.
OPCS (1991). Standard Occupational Classification. Volume 3. Office of Population Census and Surveys. HMSO: London.
Parry G (1986). Paid employment, life events, social support, and mental health in working-class mothers. Journal of Health and Social Behavior 27, 193208.
Pawlby S, Hay D, Sharp D, Waters CS, Pariante CM (2011). Antenatal depression and offspring psychopathology: the influence of childhood maltreatment. British Journal of Psychiatry 199, 106112.
Rutter M, Quinton D (1984). Parental psychiatric disorder: effects on children. Psychological Medicine 14, 853880.
Satorra A (2000). Scaled and adjusted restricted tests in multi-sample analysis of moment structures. In Innovations in Multivariate Statistical Analysis (ed. Heijmans R. D. H., Pollock D. S. G. and Satorra A.), pp. 233247. Kluwer Academic Publishers: London.
Shonkoff JP, Boyce WT, McEwen BS (2009). Neuroscience, molecular biology, and the childhood roots of health disparities: building a new framework for health promotion and disease prevention. Journal of the American Medical Association 301, 22522259.
Tabachnick BG, Fidell LS (2001). Using Multivariate Statistics. Allyn & Bacon: Boston, MA.
Weinstock M (2008). The long-term behavioural consequences of prenatal stress. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 32, 10731086.
Weissman MM, Pilowsky DJ, Wickramaratne PJ, Talati A, Wisniewski SR, Fava M, Hughes CW, Garber J, Malloy E, King CA, Cerda G, Sood AB, Alpert JE, Trivedi MH, Rush AJ; STAR*D-Child Team (2006). Remissions in maternal depression and child psychopathology. Journal of the American Medical Association 295, 13891398.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 7
Total number of PDF views: 71 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 295 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 21st November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.