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J Perinat Med. 2009;37(4):397-402. doi: 10.1515/JPM.2009.076.

Parental mental health and child development from six to thirty-six months in a birth cohort study in Taiwan.

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Department of Medicine, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


This study investigated the reciprocity between parental mental health and the different stages of child development at 6, 18, and 36 months. As the pilot of a birth cohort study, this study comprised 2048 children and their parents who were randomly selected and invited to participate. The development of these children and the mental health of their parents were followed at 6, 18, and 36 months postpartum. Child development was assessed using the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study instrument, and parental health was assessed using the Taiwanese version of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey. Complete responses for all three stages were received from 844 families. Our results showed that parental mental health had a direct effect on language and social development; however, this effect did not become significant until 36 months. The reciprocity between child development and parental mental health and proper intervention are vital.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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