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Associations between maternal stress during pregnancy and offspring internalizing and externalizing problems in childhood

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Authors
Park, Subin; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Kim, Jae-Won; Shin, Min-Sup; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Lee, Jin; Cho, Soo-Churl
Issue Date
2014-11-18
Publisher
BioMed Central
Citation
International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 8(1):44
Keywords
Internalizing problemsExternalizing problemPerinatal risk factors
Abstract
Background
Maternal psychological health during pregnancy has been associated with offspring psychopathology. However, it is uncertain whether these associations are mediated by the postpartum depression and related child-rearing factors. Therefore, we examined the associations between prenatal and postnatal factors and internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems in childhood, focusing on maternal psychological health in school-aged children in Korea.

Findings
The current study included 1,003 children (580 boys, 423 girls, mean age 9.05 ± 0.70 years, age range 8–11 years) recruited from schools in five Korean cities. Children’s internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). The parents of the children completed structured questionnaires on perinatal factors. Among 1,003 children, 44 had internalizing problems (IP) and 30 had externalizing problems (EP). When comparing children with IP (n = 44) and without IP (n = 959), severe maternal stress during pregnancy (OR3.36, 95% CI 1.80-6.25) and postpartum depression (OR3.19, 95% CI 1.36-7.53) showed a significant association with the IP. When comparing children with EP (n = 30) and without EP (n = 973), low family income (OR2.19, 95% CI 1.05-4.56), unwanted pregnancy (OR2.76, 95% CI 1.28-5.95) and severe maternal stress during pregnancy (OR2.69, 95% CI 1.29-5.61) with the EP. Only maternal stress during pregnancy was significantly associated with the IP after controlling for postpartum depression and with the EP after controlling for family income and unwanted pregnancy.

Conclusion
This study suggests the importance of maternal psychological health during perinatal period on children’s mental health. Further prospective studies in a larger sample are required to confirm our findings.
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/109846
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Psychiatry (정신과학전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_정신과학전공)
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