The impact of maternal psychiatric illness on infant development

J Clin Psychiatry. 1998:59 Suppl 2:53-61.


Maternal depression and anxiety are associated with compromises in infant and maternal social and emotional functioning. In this paper, we briefly review the literature on this topic and present some preliminary findings on a group of mothers in treatment for major depressive disorder, panic disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. The findings suggest that the symptom reports of treated mothers with established DSM diagnoses were similar overall to those of control mothers. However, the mothers' psychiatric illness had a compromising effect on their interactions with their infants and on their infants' social and emotional functioning. The implications of these results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child Development*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Panic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Panic Disorder / psychology
  • Risk Factors