, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1-12
Date: 21 Jan 2006

Impact of Maternal Mental Health Status on Child Mental Health Treatment Outcome

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Abstract

This study examined the effect of maternal depression and anxiety on child treatment outcome. Psychiatric assessments were conducted on 180 mother–child pairs when the child entered treatment in a community mental health center and six months later. Children whose mothers were depressed or anxious were significantly more impaired than children of mentally healthy mothers at both time points. Both groups of children improved at approximately the same rate. The findings suggest that early mental health screening of children and their mothers may be important preventive practices. Addressing the mental health needs of mothers and children simultaneously may be an effective method of reducing their mental health problems.

Carrie W. Rishel is affiliated with the Division of Social Work, West Virginia University.
Catherine G. Greeno is affiliated with the School of Social Work/Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.
Steven C. Marcus is affiliated with the School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania.
Esther Sales is affiliated with the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh.
M. Katherine Shear is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical center.
Holly A. Swartz is affiliated with the Department of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical center.
Carol Anderson is affiliated with the School of Social Work/Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh.