Antenatal and postnatal maternal mental health as determinants of infant neurodevelopment at 18 months of age in a mother–child cohort (Rhea Study) in Crete, Greece
- 1.4k Downloads
A growing body of evidence links poor maternal mental health with negative outcomes on early child development. We examined the effect of antenatal and postnatal maternal mental health on infant neurodevelopment at age 18 months in a population-based mother–child cohort (Rhea Study) in Crete, Greece.
Self-reported measures of maternal depression (EPDS), trait anxiety (STAI-Trait) and personality traits (EPQ-R) were assessed in a sample of women during pregnancy and at 8 weeks postpartum (n = 223). An additional sample of 247 mothers also completed the EPDS scale at 8 weeks postpartum (n = 470). Neurodevelopment at 18 months was assessed with the use of Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (3rd edition).
Multivariable linear regression models adjusted for confounders revealed that antenatal depressive symptoms (EPDS ≥ 13) were associated with decrease in cognitive development independently of postnatal depression. High trait anxiety and extraversion were associated with decrease and increase, respectively, in social–emotional development. Also, high trait anxiety and neuroticism had a positive effect on infants’ expressive communication. Finally, postpartum depressive symptoms (EPDS ≥ 13) were associated with decrease in cognitive and fine motor development independently of antenatal depression.
These findings suggest that antenatal and postnatal maternal psychological well-being has important consequences on early child neurodevelopment.
KeywordsAntenatal maternal mental health Postpartum depression Infant neurodevelopment
Rhea cohort was supported by European projects (EU FP6-2003-Food-3-A NewGeneris, EU FP6. STREP HiWATE, EU FP7 ENV.2007.1.2.2.2. Project No 211250 Escape, EU FP7-2008-ENV-188.8.131.52 EnviroGenoMarkers, EU FP7-HEALTH-2009- single-stage CHICOS, EU FP7 ENV.2008.1.2.1.6. Proposal No 226285 ENRIECO); and by the Greek Ministry of Health (Program of Prevention of obesity and neurodevelopmental disorders in preschool children, in Heraklion district, Crete, Greece: 2011–2014). We are grateful to all those who participated in the study especially the mothers and their infants, the psychologists who assisted in infants’ neurodevelopmental assessment and the whole Rhea team for their contribution and understanding. We also acknowledge Raquel Garcia Esteban, Barcelona, for conducting the standardisation of Bayley’s scores.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
- 20.Spielberger C, Gorsuch R, Lushene R, Vagg P, Jacobs G (1970) Manual for the state: trait anxiety inventory. Consulting Psychologists Press, Palo AltoGoogle Scholar
- 21.Liakos A, Yannitsi S (1984) Reliability and validity of the modified Greek version of the Spielberger state: Trait Anxiety Inventory. Encephalos 21:71–76Google Scholar
- 24.Leonardou AA, Zervas YM, Papageorgiou CC, Marks MN, Tsartsara EC, Antsaklis A, Christodoulou GN, Soldatos CR (2009) Validation of the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale and prevalence of postnatal depression at 2 months postpartum in a sample of Greek mothers. J Reprod Infant Psyc 27(1):28–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 26.Chatzi L, Melaki V, Sarri K, Apostolaki I, Roumeliotaki T, Georgiou V, Vassilaki M, Koutis A, Bitsios P, Kogevinas M (2011) Dietary patterns during pregnancy and the risk of postpartum depression: the mother-child ‘Rhea’ cohort in Crete, Greece. Public Health Nutr 14(9):1663–1670PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 27.Eysenck HJ, Eysenck SBG (1991) Manual of the Eysenck personality scales. Hodder & Stoughton, LondonGoogle Scholar
- 28.Bayley N (2006) Bayley scales of infant and toddler development, 3rd edn. PsychCorp Harcourt Assessment Inc, San AntonioGoogle Scholar
- 35.Ronsaville DS, Municchi G, Laney C, Cizza G, Meyer SE, Haim A, Radke-Yarrow M, Chrousos G, Gold PW, Martinez PE (2006) Maternal and environmental factors influence the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to corticotropin-releasing hormone infusion in offspring of mothers with or without mood disorders. Dev Psychopathol 18(1):173–194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 47.Chatzi L, Koutra K, Vassilaki M, Vardiampasis A, Georgiou V, Koutis A, Lionis C, Bitsios P, Kogevinas M (2012) Maternal personality traits and risk of preterm birth and fetal growth restriction. Eur Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2011.11.006