The Role of Perinatal Depression in the Development of Co-occurring Aggression and Anxiety/Depression Problems Open Access

Dong, Lu (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/h989r3513?locale=en
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Abstract

Maternal depression is a well-established risk factor for a range of negative developmental outcomes in offspring, including internalizing and externalizing problems. However, the role of maternal depression in the development of co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems is not well understood. Given the chronicity and severity of co-occurring child behavior problems, it is important to understand the contributing risk factors and mechanisms for these outcomes. Using a group-based trajectory modeling technique, the current study identified developmental trajectory groups that exhibited chronic co-occurring aggression and anxiety/depression problems, only chronic aggression problems, and only chronic anxiety/depression problems. Exposure to perinatal maternal depression (both prenatal and postnatal) was examined in relation to these distinct behavioral problem groups. Mediation and moderation paths were also tested to understand the mechanisms through which maternal depression may have its impact and to identify subgroups that might be at higher risk. Results revealed differential patterns in the risk and mechanisms of risk transmission from prenatal/postnatal depression to chronic co-occurring, chronic aggression, and chronic anxiety/depression problems. In particular, our results revealed direct associations between prenatal and postnatal maternal depression and co-occurring problems, and prenatal maternal depression and chronic aggression. In addition, we found support for the mediating roles of stressful family environments and negative maternal parenting. Implications of these findings on psychopathology research and prevention/intervention strategies were discussed.

Table of Contents

Introduction...1

Overview...1

Maternal Depression and Risk for Child Psychopathology...1

The Models of Risk...4

Co-occurrence between Internalizing and Externalizing Problems...7

Modeling Developmental Trajectories...11

The Present Study...17

Methods...20

Participants and Procedures...20

Measures...22

Data Analysis Plan...27

Results...31

Descriptive Statistics...31

Latent Growth Curve (LGC) model...31

Latent Class Growth Analysis...32

Maternal Depression and Behavioral Problem Classes...35

Mediation Analyses...37

Moderation Analyses...42

Discussion...44

Developmental Trajectory Groups...45

Specificity of the Effects of Maternal Depression...47

Strengths...55

Limitations...56

Implications...58

Future Directions...60

Conclusions...62

References...64

Tables...80

Figures...85

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