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Postnatal depression is associated with detrimental life-long and multigenerational impacts on relationship quality

Myers, S; Johns, SE; (2018) Postnatal depression is associated with detrimental life-long and multigenerational impacts on relationship quality. PEERJ , 6 , Article e4305. 10.7717/peerj.4305. Green open access

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Abstract

Postnatal depression (PND) is known to be associated with a range of detrimental child and adolescent outcomes, resulting from its disruptive impact on mother-child relationship quality. However, until now little has been known about the impact of PND on the longer-term relationships between mothers and their children, and any intergenerational effects this may have. Mother-child relationship quality is of interest from an evolutionary perspective as it plays a role in the accrual of offspring embodied capital, thus affecting offspring quality and offspring's capacity to subsequently invest in their own children. Relationships with offspring also mediate grandparent-grandchild relations; if PND negatively affects long-term mother-offspring relationship quality, it is also likely to negatively affect grandmaternal investment via reduced grandmother- grandchild relationship quality. Here, we use responses to a retrospective questionnaire study of postmenopausal women, largely from the UK and US, to assess the impact of PND occurring in generation 1 on mother-child relationship quality across the life course of the child (generation 2) with whom it was associated, and also on the relationship quality with grandchildren (generation 3) from that child. Average mother-child relationship quality was lower when the child's birth was associated with PND. Multi-level regression modelling found that mother-child relationship quality decreased as PND symptom severity increased after controlling for individual effects and a variety of other factors known to influence relationship quality (individual mothers nD296, mother-child dyads nD646). Additionally, intergenerational relationships appear to be affected, with PND negatively associated with grandmother-grandchild relations (individual grandmothers nD125, relations with grandchildren from nD197 grandmother-parent dyads). That PND has long-term detrimental consequences for mother-child relationships, well beyond adolescence, highlights the need for investment in strategies to prevent PND and its cascade of negative multigenerational effects.

Type: Article
Title: Postnatal depression is associated with detrimental life-long and multigenerational impacts on relationship quality
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7717/peerj.4305
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4305
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Postnatal depression, Relationships, Bonding, Mother-child, Embodied capital, Grandmothers, Bromley Postnatal Depression Scale, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Intergenerational, Life history, MOTHER-INFANT INTERACTIONS, STRESS SCALES DASS, HIGH BIRTH-WEIGHT, POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION, MATERNAL DEPRESSION, CHILD-RELATIONSHIP, SOCIAL COMPETENCE, GRANDPARENTAL INVESTMENT, FUTURE-DIRECTIONS, MENTAL-HEALTH
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10092135
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