Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 285–292

The impact of maternal depression and personality disorder on early infant care

Authors

    • PO71, Section of Perinatal Psychiatry, Institute of PsychiatryKings College London
  • Maureen N. Marks
    • Institute of PsychiatryKings College London
  • Robin Schacht
    • Institute of PsychiatryKings College London
  • Helen A. Davies
    • Institute of PsychiatryKings College London
  • Paul Moran
    • Institute of PsychiatryKings College London
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-009-0070-0

Cite this article as:
Conroy, S., Marks, M.N., Schacht, R. et al. Soc Psychiat Epidemiol (2010) 45: 285. doi:10.1007/s00127-009-0070-0

Abstract

Aim

Previous studies have reported detrimental effects of maternal depression on infant care but have not taken into account the potential confounding effects of co-morbid personality disorder. We aimed to examine the independent effects of maternal depression and personality disorder on infant care.

Method

Assessments with 200 mothers who had a diagnosis of depression, personality disorder, both conditions, or neither condition, when their infants were aged 2 months, included structured clinical interviews, an interview about infant care practices, and standardised measures of quality of the home environment, maternal involvement with the baby, maternal sensitivity and infant irritability.

Results

The presence of depression and personality disorder had significant independent detrimental effects on infant care practices and maternal involvement with the baby, while depression alone had a negative effect on quality of the home environment.

Conclusion

Women with depression are less likely to use recommended infant care practices only when they also meet criteria for co-morbid personality disorder. Professionals working with women and babies need to consider the particular difficulties that mothers with both personality disorder and depression may have in providing satisfactory infant care.

Keywords

Personality disorderDepressionInfant care

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009