Studies investigating the impact of postnatal depression on later child cognitive functioning report mixed results. Some show ongoing effects of depression in the first postnatal year, others show no lasting adverse effects, yet others report effects only when the depression is chronic and coupled with additional risks to development such as low socioeconomic status. This study examined the impact of depression in the first postnatal year and subsequent episodes between one and four years postpartum in a sample of 92 mothers and their four year old children from a relatively high socioeconomic group. Children were administered the WPPSI-R at four years of age. Findings revealed only modest effects. Compared to those whose mothers were not depressed, children whose mothers were diagnosed with depression in the first postnatal year had lower verbal IQ scores, but there were no differences on the performance scale. There were also no differences between children whose mothers recovered after one year and those whose mothers experienced further depression between one and four years. Effects were similar for boys and girls.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|
- cognitive development
- Postnatal depression