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A Meta-Analysis of Maternal Prenatal Depression and Anxiety on Child Socio-Emotional Development

Madigan, S; Oatley, H; Racine, N; Fearon, RMP; Schumacher, L; Akbari, E; Cooke, J; (2018) A Meta-Analysis of Maternal Prenatal Depression and Anxiety on Child Socio-Emotional Development. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry , 57 (9) pp. 645-657. 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.06.012. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Observed associations between maternal prenatal stress and children’s socioemotional development have varied widely in the literature. The objective of the current study was to provide a synthesis of studies examining maternal prenatal anxiety and depression and the socioemotional development of their children. METHOD: Observed associations between maternal prenatal stress and children’s socioemotional development have varied widely in the literature. The objective of the current study was to provide a synthesis of studies examining maternal prenatal anxiety and depression and the socioemotional development of their children. RESULTS: A total of 71 studies met full inclusion criteria for data analysis. The weighted average effect size for the association between prenatal stress and child socioemotional problems was as follows: odds ratio (OR) = 1.66 (95% CI = 1.54−1.79). Effect sizes were stronger for depression (OR = 1.79; 95% CI = 1.61−1.99) compared to anxiety (OR = 1.50; 95% CI = 1.36−1.64). Moderator analyses indicated that effect sizes were stronger when depression was more severe and when socio-demographic risk was heightened. CONCLUSION: Findings suggest that maternal prenatal stress is associated with offspring socioemotional development, with the effect size for prenatal depression being more robust than for anxiety. Mitigating stress and mental health difficulties in mothers during pregnancy may be an effective strategy for reducing offspring behavioral difficulties, especially in groups with social disadvantage and greater severity of mental health difficulties.

Type: Article
Title: A Meta-Analysis of Maternal Prenatal Depression and Anxiety on Child Socio-Emotional Development
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2018.06.012
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.06.012
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Meta-analysis, Prenatal stress, child socio-emotional behavior
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10053625
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