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Pediatrics. 2006 Sep;118(3):e792-800.

Maternal depression and violence exposure: double jeopardy for child school functioning.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA. michael.silverstein@bmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The goal was to determine how violence exposure affects the relationship between maternal depression, cognitive ability, and child behavior.

METHODS:

A multivariate regression analysis of data for a nationally representative sample of kindergarten students was performed. Maternal depression and violence exposure were measured with standardized parent interviews. Standardized T scores were derived from direct testing of children in reading, mathematics, and general knowledge; child behavior was reported by teachers.

RESULTS:

A total of 9360 children had neither maternal depression nor violence exposure, 779 violence only, 1564 depression only, and 380 both. Maternal depression alone was associated with poorer mean T scores for reading, mathematics, and general knowledge. However, this effect was attenuated by nearly 25% for reading and general knowledge with adjustment for violence. Children with concurrent exposure to depression and violence had lower mean T scores for reading, mathematics, and general knowledge, as well as more-concerning behaviors, than did those exposed to either factor alone. Across all outcome measures, boys seemed more affected than girls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Violence compounds the effect of maternal depression on school functioning and behavior. Research and intervention planning for children affected by maternal depression should consider violence exposure.

PMID:
16950968
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2005-1841
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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