Maternal Depression and Its Impact on Early Child Development

  • Philip Graham
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 161)


The type and etiology of maternal depression occurring in the first few years after the birth of a child are considered. Various effects on child behavior and development are described. The impact of maternal depression on cognitive development, growth, and the development of behavioral and emotional problems is discussed. The mechanisms whereby maternal depression influences these areas of development adversely are now better understood, and relevant interactive processes are reviewed. The distinctly less well-established role of maternal depression in child abuse and hysterical reactions characterized by “manipulative emotionality” is then discussed. It is concluded that depression in the mother should be considered as of possible importance by a wide range of professionals dealing with children.


Parental Behavior Maternal Depression Depressed Mother Depressed Woman Neurotic Disorder 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Graham
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Child HealthLondonUK

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