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Exploring the potential relationships between maternal depression and infant injury

Barnwell, A; (2005) Exploring the potential relationships between maternal depression and infant injury. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Postnatal depression affects up to a third of British mothers in the first year after childbirth and childhood injuries are one of the commonest causes of hospital attendance. It is not clear whether these two phenomena are related to one another, but there are several possible mechanisms by which maternal depression could increase the risk of infant injury. Aim: This study explores whether there is a link between maternal depression and injury in babies, and if this link persists when adjusted for social factors. Methods: Data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a large population-based cohort study, were analysed using multivariate logistic regression to explore potential relationships between maternal depression and infant injury. These data were derived from interviews conducted with the parents of over 18,000 nine-month old babies in the United Kingdom. Results: Mothers who reported symptoms of postnatal depression and those with low self-esteem were more likely to report injuries to their infants. The reporting of injuries increased with younger maternal ages and with higher educational qualifications. Additionally, mothers of first born children were more likely to report injuries than those of later born children. However, injuries were less commonly reported in Northern Ireland, compared to other areas of the UK, yet were more commonly reported by mothers living in deprived electoral wards. Significantly, mothers under financial stress and those who perceived their neighbours as unfriendly were both more likely to report injuries to their babies. The risk of admission to hospital due to injury was increased for infants with teenage mothers and for those whose mothers reported low self-esteem. Conclusions: Addressing postnatal depression and low maternal self esteem may potentially decrease the number of injuries in babies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Exploring the potential relationships between maternal depression and infant injury
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1568423
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