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Exposure to maternal mental health problems predisposes children to injuries

05 Sep 2018

Children whose mothers have poor mental health are highly likely to sustain injuries in early to mid-childhood, a study suggests.

Researchers looked at 9,240 families from the UK Millennium Cohort study. They examined reports of unintentional injuries in children (none, 1 or 2+) recorded at three periods (3–5 years, 5–7 years and 7–11 years) in relation to maternal mental health status, including depression/anxiety and psychological distress.

Regression analysis revealed an association between exposure to maternal mental health problems and increased rates of subsequent childhood injuries. However, the strength of this association was attenuated following adjustments for sociodemographic circumstances.

Specifically, high maternal distress correlated with injuries at 3–5 years (1 injury: adjusted relative risk ratio [aRRR], 1.18; 95 percent CI, 0.86–1.61; 2+ injuries: aRRR, 2.22; 1.22–4.02), at 5–7 years (1 injury: aRRR, 1.31; 0.97–1.76; 2+ injuries: aRRR, 1.84; 1.09–3.09) and at 7–11 years (1 injury: aRRR, 1.03; 0.81–1.31; 2+ injuries: aRRR, 1.33; 0.97–1.81).

Researchers also noted elevated rates of injury in children whose mothers reported medium distress levels.

The strong and consistent association observed between maternal mental health problems and childhood injury highlights the importance of identification and treatment of such problems, researchers said. Moreover, the large attenuation of RRRs after controlling for sociodemographic variables indicates that providing support for vulnerable mothers may also help reduce rates of injury in their children.

Poor maternal mental health, rather than being a direct cause, potentially represents broader issues about the mother’s circumstances and capacities and the wider family and social environment, which could in turn predispose children to adopt risky behaviours, researchers explained.

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Most Read Articles
Roshini Claire Anthony, 04 Apr 2019

In addition to an intensive weight loss programme, the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) could improve absolute weight loss in individuals with obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), according to a study presented at ENDO 2019.

Yesterday
The ketogenic and Modified Atkin’s diets are effective treatments for children with refractory epilepsy of genetic aetiology, a new study suggests.
2 days ago
Extremely premature neonates who have been exposed to pre-eclampsia in utero are at high risk of developing severe respiratory distress syndrome and severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia, according to a study.
Pearl Toh, 23 hours ago
A contraceptive vaginal system (Annovera) releasing a combination of segesterone acetate and ethinyl estradiol (SA/EE) effectively inhibits ovulation up to a year even at low systemic levels of SA, reports a review study presented at ENDO 2019.