The relationship between maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms during pregnancy and adult offspring behavioral and emotional problems

Betts, Kim S., Williams, Gail M., Najman, Jakob M. and Alati, Rosa (2015) The relationship between maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms during pregnancy and adult offspring behavioral and emotional problems. Depression and Anxiety, 32 2: 82-90. doi:10.1002/da.22272


Author Betts, Kim S.
Williams, Gail M.
Najman, Jakob M.
Alati, Rosa
Title The relationship between maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms during pregnancy and adult offspring behavioral and emotional problems
Journal name Depression and Anxiety   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1520-6394
Publication date 2015-02-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/da.22272
Volume 32
Issue 2
Start page 82
End page 90
Total pages 9
Place of publication Hoboken NJ, United States
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background

Prenatal maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms have been found to be associated with child and adolescent behavior problems. In this paper, we investigate their impact on behavior problems and depressive symptoms in adulthood.

Methods

Participants included 3,099 mother–offspring pairs from the Mater University Study of Pregnancy (MUSP), an Australian based, prebirth cohort study. We used latent class growth analysis (LCGA) with parallel processes to identify trajectories of maternal depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms over four time periods between the mothers’ first clinic visit and 5 years postpregnancy. We fitted the estimates from the maternal trajectories in multivariate logistic regression models to predict internalizing and externalizing behavior at age 21. We adjusted for a wide range of prenatal and postnatal factors, including maternal life events, relationship quality, contact with the new born, as well as concurrent maternal depressive and anxious symptoms and father's history of mental health problem.

Results

LCGA found seven groups of mothers; one group of mothers exhibited high levels of depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms during pregnancy but not at later time points. Their offspring experienced increased levels of behavior problems and depressive symptoms.

Conclusions

This paper provides the first evidence that high levels of maternal subjective depressive, anxious, and stress symptoms experienced in early pregnancy may predict internalizing and externalizing behavior problems and depressive symptoms in young adults.
Keyword Prenatal depression
Anxiety and stress
Latent class growth analysis
Internalizing
Externalizing
Adult offspring
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 30 April 2014

 
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