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Child mental health and maternal depression history in Pakistan

Maselko, J and Sikander, S and Bangash, O and Bhalotra, S and Franz, L and Ganga, N and Rajan, DG and O?Donnell, K and Rahman, A (2016) 'Child mental health and maternal depression history in Pakistan.' Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 51 (1). pp. 49-62. ISSN 0933-7954

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Purpose We address the significant gaps in knowledge of prevalence and correlates of child mental health (CMH) problems outside of high income countries. We describe the prevalence of CMH problems and their correlates with a focus on the association with maternal depression in a sample of seven-year-old children in rural Pakistan. Methods This study was nested in a long-term follow-up of a perinatal depression intervention together with a reference group of non-depressed women, yielding a population representative sample. The Total Difficulties (TD) and component scores of the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) were used to measure emotional and behavioral difficulties. Results The mean SDQ TD score was 10.6 (standard deviation = 8.3), with 12.5 % of children categorized as ?abnormal? using standard cutoffs. Boys had a roughly 1 point higher (worse) SDQ TD score than girls (p value = 0.04). Children of mothers who were depressed prenatally as well as currently had SDQ TD scores 2.87 points higher than children whose mothers were not depressed at either time point (p value < 0.01). This association was stronger for boys. There was no evidence of elevated SDQ TD score among children whose mothers were depressed only prenatally or only currently. Some deviations from this pattern were observed with specific components of the SDQ. Conclusions In this low resource, South Asian setting, we found evidence of elevated levels of emotional and behavioral problems, highlighting the need for effective interventions. Given the strong association of CMH with maternal depression, any intervention efforts should give strong consideration to maternal mental health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child mental health; Socio-emotional development; Maternal depression; Strengths and difficulties questionnaire; Gender differences
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental Health
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Institute for Social and Economic Research
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 15:50
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 19:07

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