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Am J Psychiatry. 1987 Jun;144(6):736-41.

Maternal affective disorders, illness, and stress: risk for children's psychopathology.


Stressful circumstances that covary with maternal affective disorder may account for some of the risk to children for psychological dysfunction. Children (ages 8-16) of mothers with unipolar or bipolar disorders were compared with children of mothers who had chronic medical illness and children of normal mothers. Comparisons included Kiddie-SADS (Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia) diagnoses and evaluations of behavior problems, school functioning, and social competence. Compared to the other groups, children of mothers with affective disorder (especially unipolar) had high rates of diagnosis. With the effects of chronic stress statistically controlled, psychosocial outcome variables showed fewer differences between groups but indicated particular impairment for children of unipolar mothers.

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