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Browsing by Subject "psychiatric problems"

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  • Tolvanen, Karita (2023)
    Objectives Multiple environmental factors are known to influence mental health, and factors occurring during developmentally sensitive periods are particularly important. Only little research has been done to study the effects of maternal positive mental health during pregnancy on child mental health. The aim of this study was to investigate how positive maternal mental health during pregnancy affects the offspring's mental health in late childhood. Methods The sample of the study (n=1954) is part of the longitudinal Prediction and Prevention of Preeclampsia and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (PREDO) study. Positive mental health was measured biweekly from 12-13 to 38-39 gestational weeks through questionnaires about positive emotions and perceived social support. Children’s psychiatric problems and prosocial behavior were measured through a questionnaire, which mothers filled when the child was 7–12-year-old. Additional subsample (n=226) was created to see if the results would change, when fathers would fill out the questionnaire about child mental health. Data were analyzed using multiple regression analyses. Maternal age at delivery, maternal education level, child’s sex and child’s age at the follow-up were controlled for in the analyses. Results and conclusions All of the scales used to measure positive maternal mental health during pregnancy were negatively associated with the child’s psychiatric problems and positively with prosocial behavior in the first sample (n=1954). In the subsample (n=226) only the scale for perceived social support was associated with child’s psychiatric problems and prosocial behavior. Positive maternal mental health during pregnancy predicted fewer psychiatric problems and more prosocial behavior in the offspring in late childhood.
  • Rockas, Katri (2015)
    Objective: Prenatal maternal stress has been associated with a higher risk of psychiatric problems of the offspring in childhood. Recently, the study focus has started to shift to stress that is associated to the pregnancy itself, i.e. pregnancy-specific stress, which has been found to have better predictive value on different offspring outcomes in the first years of life, but research of its association with psychiatric problems of the child is still scarce. In this large, longitudinal and prospective study we examined the association between pregnancy-specific stress and psychiatric symptoms of the child at preschool age. We also examined whether the associations are independent of mothers' concurrent wellbeing when evaluating the child and whether the sex of the child or the timing of exposure to pregnancy-specific stress would have moderating effects on the presumed associations. It was hypothesized that higher levels of pregnancy-specific stress would be associated with higher levels of psychiatric problems and that exposure to pregnancy-specific stress specifically on the first and/or second pregnancy trimester would result in higher amounts of psychiatric problems. Methods: This study is part of a multidisciplinary PREDO-project. The current study sample comprised 1888 mother-child pairs. The mothers filled the Pregnancy Experience Scale which was used to measure mothers' pregnancy-specific stress (frequency and intensity of hassles) four times during pregnancy. They also filled the Child Behavior Checklist which was used to measure psychiatric symptoms of the child (total, internalizing and externalizing problems) once at the 2-5 year follow-up point. Linear regression analysis was used as analytic method. Mothers' concurrent depression and multiple socio-demographic, prenatal and birth outcome factors associated with a risk of psychiatric problems were used as covariates. Results and conclusions: Higher levels of pregnancy-specific stress predicted higher levels of total, internalizing and externalizing problems of the child in preschool age, independently of several covariates. The interaction between the sex of the child and pregnancy-specific stress did not predict psychiatric problems. Pregnancy-specific stress experienced in all of the three pregnancy trimesters predicted psychiatric problems and none of the trimesters were found to be consistently more vulnerable for the exposure to pregnancy-specific stress. The frequency of hassles was consistently associated with psychiatric problems independently of mothers' concurrent depression and was found to be a better predictor of psychiatric problems than the intensity of hassles. The current results extend the research on pregnancy-specific stress and offer new insight to the developmental origins of psychiatric problems by demonstrating the independent etiological predictive role of fetal developmental factors; specifically of prenatal stress.