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Lancet. 2014 Nov 15;384(9956):1800-19. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61277-0. Epub 2014 Nov 14.

Effects of perinatal mental disorders on the fetus and child.

Author information

1
Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address: alan.stein@psych.ox.ac.uk.
2
Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK; Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.
3
Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
4
Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
5
Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
6
Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK.
7
Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, UK.

Abstract

Perinatal mental disorders are associated with increased risk of psychological and developmental disturbances in children. However, these disturbances are not inevitable. In this Series paper, we summarise evidence for associations between parental disorders and offspring outcomes from fetal development to adolescence in high-income, middle-income, and low-income countries. We assess evidence for mechanisms underlying transmission of disturbance, the role of mediating variables (underlying links between parent psychopathology and offspring outcomes) and possible moderators (which change the strength of any association), and focus on factors that are potentially modifiable, including parenting quality, social (including partner) and material support, and duration of the parental disorder. We review research of interventions, which are mostly about maternal depression, and emphasise the need to both treat the parent's disorder and help with associated caregiving difficulties. We conclude with policy implications and underline the need for early identification of those parents at high risk and for more early interventions and prevention research, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and low-income countries.

PMID:
25455250
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61277-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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