Volume 36, Issue 8 p. 1315-1336

The Impact of Postnatal Depression on Boys' Intellectual Development

Deborah Sharp

Corresponding Author

Deborah Sharp

University of Birstol

Requests for reprints to: Professor D. Sharp, Department of Social Medicine, University of Bristol, Canynge Hall, Whiteladies Road, Bristol BS8 2PR, U.K.Search for more papers by this author
Dale F. Hay

Dale F. Hay

University of Cambridge.

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Susan Pawlby

Susan Pawlby

Institute of Psychiatry, London.

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Gesine Schmücker

Gesine Schmücker

Institute of Psychiatry, London.

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Helen Allen

Helen Allen

UMDS, Guy's and St. Thoma's Hospitals, London.

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R. Kumar

R. Kumar

Institute of Psychiatry, London.

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First published: November 1995
Citations: 224

Abstract

Abstract A follow-up study was carried out to investigate the children of 204 mothers who had previously participated in a study of their mental health during pregnancy and the first postnatal year. One hundred and seventy two children, 170 mothers, and 99 fathers were assessed when the children were 3 years 10 months. Boys of mothers depressed in the first year postpartum scored approximately 1 standard deviation lower on standardised tests of intellectual attainment than boys whose mothers were well that year. The difference was reliable even when behaviour during the test was controlled for, and general behavioural problems, birth weight, parental IQ, measures of the family climate and home environment, mother-child interaction, and breast-feeding during infancy were taken into account.