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Prenatal symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with sex differences in both maternal perceptions of one year old infant temperament and researcher observed infant characteristics

Savory, K., Garay, S.M., Sumption, L.A., Kelleher, Jemima, Daughters, K., Janssen, A.B., Van Goozen, S. and John, R.M. 2020. Prenatal symptoms of anxiety and depression associated with sex differences in both maternal perceptions of one year old infant temperament and researcher observed infant characteristics. Journal of Affective Disorders 264 , pp. 383-392. 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.057

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Abstract

BACKGROUND : Sex differences in the behaviour of children exposed to prenatal maternal depression and anxiety have been reported. This study compared depression and anxiety symptoms reported by mothers at term with maternal perceptions of one year old male and female infant temperament and with researcher observed infant characteristics, identifying differences for males and females with both approaches. METHODS : Infant behaviour and temperament was assessed via maternally completed questionnaires including Infant Behavioural Questionnaire Revised – Short form and by researcher administered subcomponents of Laboratory Temperament Assessment Battery and Bayley Scales of Infant Development III. RESULTS : For female infants, higher prenatal scores for depression and anxiety were associated with maternal perceptions of lower bonding, higher aggression and negativity, and lower soothability (n = 67 mother-infant dyads). In the laboratory assessment, intensity of escape was the only female infant factor significantly associated with maternal mood (n = 41). For male infants, there was minimal association between prenatal mood scores and maternal perceptions (n = 46) whereas in the laboratory assessment (n = 35) depression scores were associated with expressive language, facial interest and facial fear while anxiety scores were associated with expressive and receptive language, parent behaviour and facial fear. LIMITATIONS : Findings may be restricted to a single ethnicity or mode of delivery. Fewer infants attended the infant assessment. A laboratory setting may mask symptomatology in females. CONCLUSIONS : Atypical maternal perceptions may present a barrier to the early identification of male infants impacted by maternal depression and anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Psychology
Biosciences
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Cardiff University Centre for Human Development Science (CHDS)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0165-0327
Funders: MRC, BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 November 2019
Date of Acceptance: 10 November 2019
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 13:56
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/126751

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