Diagnosis, management, and implications of maternal depression for children and pediatricians

Curr Opin Pediatr. 1994 Oct;6(5):525-9. doi: 10.1097/00008480-199410000-00004.


The past decade has witnessed a marked increase in the quantity and quality of research relating to maternal depression and the children of depressed mothers. Such children are at heightened psychological risk of problems in adjustment and depression. The outcomes in this vulnerable group are determined by many influences in the child, the mother, and the family. There is a reciprocal relationship between psychological problems in the child and in the mother. Recently, the contextual and transactional aspects of maternal depression has been emphasized in the literature. Attention has to be given not only to the mother and her child but also to acute and chronic family stressors. In this not uncommon life event, the pediatrician has a key role in early identification and intervention, both preventive and therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depressive Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder* / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder* / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder* / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Life Change Events
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pediatrics* / methods
  • Physician's Role*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Puerperal Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Puerperal Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Puerperal Disorders* / psychology
  • Puerperal Disorders* / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Adjustment