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Parents at highest risk for depression in the first year after child's birth
Date:9/6/2010

ssure this could place on the couple's relationship," the authors write. "The high rate of parental depression in the first year after delivery may also be partly due to a resumption of antidepressant use following a break during pregnancy and breastfeeding."

Parents who had a history of depression, who were younger (age 15 to 24, compared with 25 and older) when their child was born and who were more socially deprived were more likely to develop depression. "There is a well-established link between depression and social and economic deprivation both in the general population and among parents. This finding may reflect the stresses of poverty, unemployment, low employment grade and lower social support among people of lower socioeconomic status," the authors write. In addition, "younger parents may be less prepared for parenthood with more unplanned pregnancies and may be less able to deal with the stresses of parenthood compared with older parents."

The findings suggest that there is a need for appropriate detection of depression among mothers and fathers, and that clinicians should be aware of the risk factors for depression in parents and assess individuals who possess those characteristics. In addition, the authors note, future research should examine other factors associated with parental depression, such as the couple's relationship quality and stressful life events, as well as the separate and cumulative effects of maternal and paternal depression on children's health and development.


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Contact: Irwin Nazareth, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
i.nazareth@ucl.ac.uk
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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