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Publication Detail
Parenting difficulties and postnatal depression: implications for primary healthcare assessment and intervention
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Murray L, Cooper P, Fearon P
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    34, 38
  • Journal:
    Community Practitioner
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
Postnatal depression (PND) is associated with impairments in the mother–child relationship, and these impairments are themselves associated with adverse child outcomes. Thus, compared to the children of non-depressed mothers, children of mothers with PND are more likely to be insecurely attached, and to have externalising behaviour problems and poor cognitive development. Each of these three child outcomes is predicted by a particular pattern of difficulty in parenting: insecure attachment is related to maternal insensitivity, particularly in relation to infant distress and emotional vulnerability; externalising problems are particularly common in the context of hostile parenting; and poor cognitive development is related to parental difficulties in noticing infant signs of interest and supporting their engagement with the environment. This article sets out procedures for how parenting could be assessed in ways that are sensitive to the domain-specific associations between parenting and child outcome, while remaining sensitive to the child's developmental stage. This set of assessments requires field testing.
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