Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

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

  • Carrie W. Rishel
  • Catherine G. Greeno
  • Steven C. Marcus
  • Esther Sales
  • M. Katherine. Shear
  • Holly A. Swartz
  • Carol Anderson


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.


children community mental health maternal depression. 



This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grants R24 MH-56848, P30 MH-30915, and K01 MH-0189.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carrie W. Rishel
    • 1
  • Catherine G. Greeno
  • Steven C. Marcus
  • Esther Sales
  • M. Katherine. Shear
  • Holly A. Swartz
  • Carol Anderson
  1. 1.School of Applied Social Sciences, Division of Social WorkWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA

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