Depression in childhood: The role of children's exposure to intimate partner violence and maternal mental disorders

Elisabete Pereira Silva*, Alan M Emond, Ana Bernada Ludermir

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global problem with high prevalence rates, and is linked to maternal mental disorders (MMD). Children's exposure to IPV (CEIPV) can have impacts on their physical and mental health, including depression.
Objective: To analyze the associations between exposure to both CEIPV and MMD and depression in schoolchildren.
Participants and setting: 630 mother-child pairs were evaluated in a poor urban district in Recife, Northeast Brazil.
Methods: A cohort study investigated the effects of IPV during pregnancy, postpartum and six to nine years after delivery. Women were asked about their experience of IPV, their own mental health, and the exposure of their child to violence. The child's mood was reported by the mother, using the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ). Ten types of CEIPV, and the age of onset of exposure, were compared with the child's subsequent risk of depression.
Results: IPV was associated with MMD in 31.9% of the women at some period of time. Depressive symptoms were reported in 15.7% of school-age children. All types of CEIPV were associated with depression at school age. Multivariable analyses of exposure to IPV and MMD at different ages showed that exposure to both IPV and MMD in the first year of life had the strongest association with childhood depression (OR = 9.1; 95% CI: 2.4–33.9).
Conclusions: The frequency of CEIPV and MMD, and the high prevalence of depression at school age, shows the importance of assessing MMD and identifying exposure to IPV in pregnancy and the early years.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105305
Pages (from-to)105305
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume122
Issue number105305
Early online date10 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Brazilian Federal Government , through the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) do Ministério da Educação e Cultura, Brazil – Grant numbers: 403060/2004-4 and 475240/2011-1 , and the Departamento de Ciência e Tecnologia da Secretaria de Ciência, Tecnologia e Insumos Estratégicos do Ministério da Saúde (DECIT), Brazil–Grant number: 473545/2004-7 .

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Brazilian Federal Government, through the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) do Ministério da Educação e Cultura, Brazil – Grant numbers: 403060/2004-4 and 475240/2011-1, and the Departamento de Ciência e Tecnologia da Secretaria de Ciência, Tecnologia e Insumos Estratégicos do Ministério da Saúde (DECIT), Brazil–Grant number:473545/2004-7.

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Brazilian Federal Government, through the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cient?fico e Tecnol?gico (CNPq) do Minist?rio da Educa??o e Cultura, Brazil ? Grant numbers: 403060/2004-4 and 475240/2011-1, and the Departamento de Ci?ncia e Tecnologia da Secretaria de Ci?ncia, Tecnologia e Insumos Estrat?gicos do Minist?rio da Sa?de (DECIT), Brazil?Grant number: 473545/2004-7.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Children
  • Depression
  • Domestic violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Maternal mental disorders

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