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Adolescent antecedents of maternal and paternal perinatal depression: a 36-year prospective cohort

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2020

Kimberly C Thomson*
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia
Helena Romaniuk
Affiliation:
Deakin University, Faculty of Health, Biostatistics Unit, Geelong, Australia
Christopher J Greenwood
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Primrose Letcher
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia
Elizabeth Spry
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Jacqui A Macdonald
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Helena M McAnally
Affiliation:
University of Otago, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
George J Youssef
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Jennifer McIntosh
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia La Trobe University, Department of Psychology, The Bouverie Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Delyse Hutchinson
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Robert J Hancox
Affiliation:
University of Otago, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
George C Patton
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Craig A Olsson
Affiliation:
Deakin University Geelong, Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development, School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Victoria, Australia Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville Victoria, Australia Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Centre for Adolescent Health, The Royal Children's Hospital Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
*
Author for correspondence: Kimberly Thomson, E-mail: kimberly.thomson@ubc.ca

Abstract

Background

Rates of common mental health problems (depression/anxiety) rise sharply in adolescence and peak in young adulthood, often coinciding with the transition to parenthood. Little is known regarding the persistence of common mental health problems from adolescence to the perinatal period in both mothers and fathers.

Methods

A total of 393 mothers (686 pregnancies) and 257 fathers (357 pregnancies) from the intergenerational Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 Study completed self-report assessments of depression and anxiety in adolescence (ages 13–14, 15–16, 17–18 years) and young adulthood (ages 19–20, 23–24, 27–28 years). The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms at 32 weeks pregnancy and 12 months postpartum in mothers, and at 12 months postpartum in fathers.

Results

Most pregnancies (81%) in which mothers reported perinatal depression were preceded by a history of mental health problems in adolescence or young adulthood. Similarly, most pregnancies (83%) in which fathers reported postnatal depression were preceded by a preconception history of mental health problems. After adjustment for potential confounders, the odds of self-reporting perinatal depression in both women and men were consistently higher in those with a history of persistent mental health problems across adolescence and young adulthood than those without (ORwomen 5.7, 95% CI 2.9–10.9; ORmen 5.5, 95% CI 1.03–29.70).

Conclusions

Perinatal depression, for the majority of parents, is a continuation of mental health problems with onsets well before pregnancy. Strategies to promote good perinatal mental health should start before parenthood and include both men and women.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

*

Joint Senior Authors.

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