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Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression

Sellers, Ruth, Collishaw, Stephan ORCID:, Rice, Frances ORCID:, Thapar, Ajay Kumar ORCID:, Potter, Robert, Mars, Becky ORCID:, Harold, Gordon Thomas, Smith, Daniel J., Owen, Michael John ORCID:, Craddock, Nicholas John ORCID: and Thapar, Anita ORCID: 2012. Risk of psychopathology in adolescent offspring of mothers with psychopathology and recurrent depression. British Journal of Psychiatry 202 (2) , pp. 108-114. 10.1192/bjp.bp.111.104984

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Background: Offspring of mothers with depression are at heightened risk of psychiatric disorder. Many mothers with depression have comorbid psychopathology. How these co-occurring problems affect child outcomes has rarely been considered. Aims: To consider whether the overall burden of co-occurring psychopathology in mothers with recurrent depression predicts new-onset psychopathology in offspring. Method: Mothers with recurrent depression and their adolescent offspring (9–17 years at baseline) were assessed in 2007 and on two further occasions up to 2011. Mothers completed questionnaires assessing depression severity, anxiety, alcohol problems and antisocial behaviour. Psychiatric disorder in offspring was assessed using the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment. Results: The number of co-occurring problems in mothers (0, 1 or 2+) predicted new-onset offspring disorder (odds ratio (OR) = 1.80, 95% CI 1.17–2.77, P = 0.007). Rates varied from 15.7 to 34.8% depending on the number of co-occurring clinical problems. This remained significant after controlling for maternal depression severity (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.03–2.89, P = 0.040). Conclusions: The burden of co-occurring psychopathology among mothers with recurrent depression indexes increased risk of future onset of psychiatric disorder for offspring. This knowledge can be used in targeting preventive measures in children at high risk of psychiatric disorder.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Additional Information: Online publication date: 11 October 2012.
Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN: 0007-1250
Date of Acceptance: 13 August 2012
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:02

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