The impact of postnatal depression on child cognitive functioning at four years

Catherine Mcmahon*, Tania Trapolini, Alison Cornish, Judy Ungerer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Educational and Developmental Psychologist
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • cognitive development
  • language
  • Postnatal depression
  • preschool

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of postnatal depression on child cognitive functioning at four years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this