How does mother maternal mental health affect children’s Development?

Motherhood is challenging task that requires proper physical and mental health of mother but their mental health is often ignored. Due to severe effects of poor maternal health it has become subject of great attention because of the increased rates of maternal depression. Some evidence has been highlighted in World Health Report (2000).According to report effect of poverty, depression and demoralization are to be damaging to women in developed as well as developing countries. Due to these circumstances stress created and effect the home environment, family life, childcare and parenting. It decreases women’s energy and make hard for them to provide care, attention and response which is especially important for children and infants. It is accepted that depression after child birth through its adverse impact on mother’s interpersonal functioning and effect the mother – infant interaction (Murray, Fiori-Cwley, Hooper, Stein & Cooper, 1996).This causes adverse effects on intellectual, emotional, social development of infants and children especially when it occur with low socio- economic status and continuous diseases (such as depression).

New researches suggest that maternal depression in developing countries cause illness in infants and growth retardation because of poor care to children’s needs (World Health Report ,2005).Very high rates of postnatal depression have been reported in poor countries two to three times more than rich countries (World Health Report, 2005).It is of great importance that mother’s competence in child care plays a greater role in the child’s physical health and survival chances in developed countries. Now it is realized in developing world and also of great importance in developing countries (World Health Report, 2005).

The reciprocal relationship between mother and infant also form negative or positive cycle of response. For Example: Negative cycle can form, when an ill child is treated with improper care and attention or stressed care giver who feels unable to console child. So such poor attention effect the mother child relation that remains longer (Bousha & Twentyman, 1984; Crittenden, 1993; Kaufman &Zigler, 1998). Various researches from developed countries have found that infants are less likely to form a secure relation with their mother when they are in insensitive or   give response (Murray, 1992, Murray & Cooper, 1997). In a study by Cogill (1986), children of depressed mothers had lower scores on intellectual testing than children whose mothers were not depressed during first year. It has been reported boys are affected more by external influences than girls. For Example, a study found there is link between long term maternal depressive symptoms and child outcomes at age five (Brennan, Andersen, Hammen, et al., 2000).

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