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Health Educ Behav. 2002 Oct;29(5):596-607.

The effect of maternal depressive symptomatology on maternal behaviors associated with child health.

Author information

  • Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 24061, USA. jleif@vt.edu

Abstract

National prevalence rates for depression among women are twofold compared with those of men, with women of childbearing age at greatest risk. Maternal depression not only negatively affects the health of the mother but may also influence the health and development of her offspring. This study examined the relationship between maternal depression and its influence on certain maternal behaviors associated with child health. A nationally representative, longitudinal data set with information on demographic, behavioral, and health care variables obtained from women in 1988 and 1991 was used. The results from logistic regression modeling indicate that maternal depression is associated with maternal behaviors (i.e., an increased likelihood of engagement in smoking, in not administering vitamins to a child, and not restraining children in appropriate car seats). Moreover, race differentials were found among these relationships. The implications of these results suggest the need to screen for depression among mothers of young children.

PMID:
12238703
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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