Parent’s depression and the effect of that on young children

Recent researches show that parents with depression provide poorer care for their children. Depression can affect various parts of children’s personalities. Insecure attachment and challenging temperament, pessimistic views, very unpredictable mood swings and aggression, less happiness, poorer academic, intellectual and cognitive results, negative self-view and lower self-worth, dysfunctioned interpersonal communication and less ability to regulate intense feelings of anger, anxiety and stress. Parent’s depression which is associated with other risk factors such as genetic effects of depression, distressing conditions pre and postnatal, and how depression affects the parent’s function, can contribute to the adverse children’s upbringing. Being skilful in parenting is critical for the healthy growth of kids. Depression can contribute to insensitive, irresponsive, withdrawn parental behaviour, leading to a poor adjustment in children. Depression’s effect on children starts well before they are born since they affect the mother’s behaviours during pregnancy. More alcohol consumption, smoking during pregnancy, poor nutrition intake, unhealthy eating, and inadequate sleep are consequences of depression during pregnancy. Although sensitive and responsive parenting is the weak point of depressed parents in caring for infants, a lack of “felt security” can adversely affect a toddler’s healthy development. Inability to do key tasks, lack of self-regulation, outrageous behaviours and uncontrollable anger, inconsistent mother and child behaviour, and negative interactive characters over a long time are all long-term consequences of depressive parenting. In teenagers, mothers with depression show more disengaged and withdrawn and intrusive behaviours. In most cases, depressed parenting is associated with more risk factors that each one of them can play an independent role in parents’ and children’s depression. Interestingly, newborns’ neurobehavioural outcome of a depressed mother shows more inconsolable traits and a more difficult temperament. These two issues are notable as previously, they were considered as being affected exclusively through genetics and irrelevant to parenting behaviours.



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