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Parental stress is a contributing factor linking maternal depression to infant anxiety, depressive symptoms

A new study has found a two-way relationship in which a mother’s mental health symptoms impacted a child’s mental health symptoms and vice versa.

According to researchers at the Cizik School of Nursing at the University of Texas at Houston Health Sciences Center (UTHealth Houston), a secondary analysis of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing (Fragile Families) study revealed a two-way relationship where a mother’s mental health symptoms impacted a child’s mental health symptoms and vice versa.

The analysis, published in the print edition of the “Journal of Affective Disorders,” studied maternal and infant mental health symptoms over a 10-year period to provide new information on the development of depression. and anxiety within families.

Research indicates that parenting stress, or the processes and subsequent reactions resulting from trying to manage the challenges and burdens of parenthood, is the factor that partially links maternal depression and anxiety and depressive symptoms. child.

“By focusing on mother-child pairs, we identified that maternal depression at an earlier point in time predicted the child’s anxiety and depressive symptoms at a later point in time. mothers who suffered from depression at later times, ”said Daphne Hernandez, PhD, associate professor and Lee and Joseph Jamail distinguished professor at the School of Nursing and lead author of the study.

Experiences of maternal depression increase feelings of being overwhelmed by parenting, contributing to hostility and lack of warmth in the home environment, researchers say. Lack of heat can negatively affect a child’s mental health.

The Fragile Families study began at Princeton University and Columbia University between 1998 and 2000 to study the outcomes of family relationships of unmarried parents on their offspring. The large population-based sample has enabled researchers across the United States to provide information on various family and relationship dynamics.

“A dual intervention, where mother and child receive treatment together, in addition to their separate treatment plans, perhaps a successful approach for families where mothers and children show symptoms of anxiety and depression. “said Hernandez. “Most importantly, implementing strategies to reduce parenting stress is vital.”

The researchers’ findings have the opportunity to guide mental health treatment suggestions for families where mothers and children show symptoms of anxiety and depression.

(With entries from ANI)

Disclaimer: This article was posted automatically from an agency feed without any text changes and has not been reviewed by an editor

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