Wednesday September 19, 2018

Maternal Depression Might Affect Child’s Health Throughout the Life

The researchers noted that their findings show the complex effects of maternal depression on children's physiology, health and psychopathology and advocate the need for early interventions that specifically target maternal stress and enhance parenting behaviour

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Maternal high blood sugar linked to obesity risk in kids. Pixabay
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Women, take note. If you are suffering from depression, it may affect your child’s stress and physical well-being throughout life, a new study has found.

The findings, published in the Journal of Diabetes, suggested that depressed mothers had higher cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA) — markers of stress and the immune system — levels and displayed more negative parenting, characterised by negative effect, intrusion, and criticism.

“Following mothers and children across the first decade of life, we found that exposure to maternal depression impairs functioning of the child’s immune system and stress response,” said senior author Ruth Feldman from Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, a not-for-profit, non-sectarian research college in Israel.

“Such disruptions to the child’s stress and immune system, in turn, led to greater child psychopathology,” Feldman added.

For the study, the research team followed 125 children from birth to 10 years of age. At 10 years, mothers’ and children’s CT and s-IgA were measured.

depression
Such disruptions to the child’s stress and immune system, in turn, led to greater child psychopathology. Pixabay

The team observed their interaction and the participants also underwent psychiatric diagnoses.

The researchers found that children of depressed mothers tended to exhibit certain psychiatric disorders, have higher s-IgA levels, and display greater social withdrawal.

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“We also found that the impairments to the child’s stress response and immunity were shaped by similar effects of the depression on the mothers’ stress and immune system and their consequent impact on reducing the quality of maternal caregiving,” Feldman said.

The researchers noted that their findings show the complex effects of maternal depression on children’s physiology, health and psychopathology and advocate the need for early interventions that specifically target maternal stress and enhance parenting behaviour. (IANS)

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Depression in Children Stay Undetected by Parents and Teachers- Study

The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves

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Depression
Depression in children under-recognised by parents, teachers: Study. Pixabay

Parents and teachers may find it difficult to detect depression in young children, that can affect their social skills and academics, a new study shows.

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, as many as 2-3 per cent of children aged between 6-12 might have a major depressive disorder.

But parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children.

The findings, appearing in the Journal of School Psychology, showed that children who show mild to severe symptoms of depression in second and third grades are six times more likely to have skill deficits, such as difficulties with social skills or academics, than children without symptoms.

However, when teachers and parents were asked to rate a child’s level of depression, there was only about 5-10 per cent overlap in their ratings.

Depression
Parents and teachers face difficulties in recognising depression in children. Pixabay

“Some people would view that overlap as the truth about a child’s well-being and areas of disagreement as errors, but we need to explore the possibility that each of them are seeing different aspects of children’s behaviour and mental health,” said Keith Herman, professor in the University of Missouri (MU), College of Education.

For the study, the team completed profile analyses of 643 children in early elementary school to explore how patterns between student, teacher and parent reporting can be used to gain a holistic picture of a child’s mental health.

Herman suggested that mental health professionals could work with teachers and parents to identify depressive symptoms early by including self reports from children in mental health evaluations.

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“The gold standard for identifying children who might be at risk for developing depression later in life is to ask the children themselves,” noted Herman.

“However, even if a child doesn’t say they feel depressed, certain outward behaviours might provide clues to the state of the child’s mental health. It’s important for teachers and parents to catch these behaviours early to prevent long-term problems that occur with depression,” he said. (IANS)