Journal article

Maternal mental health and infant emotional reactivity: a 20-year two-cohort study of preconception and perinatal exposures

Elizabeth Spry, Margarita Moreno-Betancur, Denise Becker, Helena Romaniuk, John B Carlin, Emma Molyneaux, Louise M Howard, Joanne Ryan, Primrose Letcher, Jennifer McIntosh, Jacqui A Macdonald, Christopher J Greenwood, Kimberley C Thomson, Helena McAnally, Robert Hancox, Delyse M Hutchinson, George J Youssef, Craig A Olsson, George C Patton



BACKGROUND: Maternal mental health during pregnancy and postpartum predicts later emotional and behavioural problems in children. Even though most perinatal mental health problems begin before pregnancy, the consequences of preconception maternal mental health for children's early emotional development have not been prospectively studied. METHODS: We used data from two prospective Australian intergenerational cohorts, with 756 women assessed repeatedly for mental health problems before pregnancy between age 13 and 29 years, and during pregnancy and at 1 year postpartum for 1231 subsequent pregnancies. Offspring infant emotional reactivity, an early indicator of differential sensitivity denot..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by NIHR

Awarded by NHMRC Dementia Research Leader Fellowship

Awarded by NHMRC Senior Principle Research Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the families who have participated in the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study, the Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study, the Australian Temperament Project and the ATP Generation 3 Study for their invaluable contributions, as well as all collaborators and the study teams involved in the data collection and management. Further information on the studies is available at VAHCS, VIHCS, ATP and ATPG3 studies are located at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne. The ATP and ATPG3 are a collaboration between Deakin University, The University of Melbourne, The Australian Institute of Family Studies, The University of New South Wales, The University of Otago (NZ), and the Royal Children's Hospital. The authors acknowledge all collaborators who have contributed to the Australian Temperament Project, especially Professors Ann Sanson, Margot Prior, Frank Oberklaid, and Dr Diana Smart. This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (DP180102447). Data collection for VIHCS was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council; Australian Rotary Health; Colonial Foundation; Perpetual Trustees; Financial Markets Foundation for Children (Australia); Royal Children's Hospital Foundation; and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. Data collection for the ATPG3 was supported by the Australian Research Council. LMH receives salary support for an NIHR Research Professorship in maternal mental health to LMH (NIHR-RP-R3-12-011). LMH is also affiliated with the NIHR Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London. JR is supported by an NHMRC Dementia Research Leader Fellowship (APP1135727). GP is supported by an NHMRC Senior Principle Research Fellowship (APP1117873). Research at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute is supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Program.