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The impact of maternal prenatal and postnatal anxiety on children's emotional problems: a systematic review

Rees, Sarah, Channon, Susan and Waters, Cerith S. 2019. The impact of maternal prenatal and postnatal anxiety on children's emotional problems: a systematic review. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 28 (2) , pp. 257-280. 10.1007/s00787-018-1173-5

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Maternal mental health problems during pregnancy and the postnatal period are a major public health issue. Despite evidence that symptoms of both depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy and the postpartum, the impact of maternal anxiety on the child has received relatively less attention than the impact of maternal depression. Furthermore, the evidence base for the direct impact of maternal anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum on children’s emotional outcomes lacks cohesion. The aim of this systematic review is to summarise the empirical evidence regarding the impact of maternal prenatal and postnatal anxiety on children’s emotional outcomes. Overall, both maternal prenatal and postnatal anxiety have a small adverse effect on child emotional outcomes. However, the evidence appears stronger for the negative impact of prenatal anxiety. Several methodological weaknesses make conclusions problematic and replication of findings is required to improve the identification of at-risk parents and children with appropriate opportunities for intervention and prevention.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1018-8827
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 June 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 May 2018
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2021 12:00

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