Knowledge and Resource Hub
18 November 2019

Perinatal maternal mental health and infant socio-emotional development: A growth curve analysis using the MPEWS cohort

This research examined the relationship between mother’s anxiety and depressive symptoms before and after birth on infant social-emotional development measured at 12 months of age. The study found both mothers' initial depression and anxiety symptom levels and increases in symptoms over time predicted more problems with children’s social and emotional development. The authors emphasised the importance of early targeted screening, assessment and interventions to address maternal mental health issues for at-risk parents during pregnancy and continuing monitoring of young children whose mothers have experienced perinatal mental health difficulties.