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Longitudinal studies examining the impact of prenatal and subsequent episodes of maternal depression on offspring antisocial behaviour

Morgan, Joanne E., Channon, Sue, Penny, Helen and Waters, Cerith S. ORCID: 2021. Longitudinal studies examining the impact of prenatal and subsequent episodes of maternal depression on offspring antisocial behaviour. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 30 , pp. 5-40. 10.1007/s00787-019-01447-w

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Maternal depression is associated with adverse child outcomes including antisocial behaviour (ASB). Prospective longitudinal studies have focused on the timing and cumulative exposure to maternal depression to further delineate the association and mechanisms of effect. The objective of this systematic review was to synthesise and evaluate the findings of longitudinal studies of maternal depression and offspring antisocial behaviour. Three databases were searched (Psychinfo, Web of Science, and Medline). Twenty of 5936 studies met inclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme criteria [Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (2017) CASP (cohort observation checklist).]. Results of individual studies were highly varied, using diverse analytical approaches and not all studies explored the independent effects of different episodes. Only three studies examined hypothesised mechanisms. Prenatal, postnatal, and later episodes of depression were all predictive of antisocial outcomes. One particular time period of depression exposure did not emerge as more predictive of offspring ASB than another. However, measures of maternal depression after the perinatal period were limited and typically included a one-off assessment of mothers’ depressive symptoms that was concurrent to the assessment of offspring ASB. When cumulative exposure to maternal depression and specific timing effects were measured within the same study it was cumulative exposure that conferred the greatest risk for offspring ASB—particularly when this exposure began during the perinatal period. Findings are discussed in terms of limitations in the literature and highlight the need for future research to examine the biological and environmental mechanisms that underpin associations between maternal depression and offspring antisocial behaviour during different stages of development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativeco
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 1018-8827
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 20 November 2019
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2023 11:46

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