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International Journal of Mental Health Systems

, 8:44

First Online: 18 November 2014Received: 21 April 2014Accepted: 24 October 2014


BackgroundMaternal psychological health during pregnancy has been associated with offspring psychopathology. However, it is uncertain whether these associations are mediated by the postpartum depression and related child-rearing factors. Therefore, we examined the associations between prenatal and postnatal factors and internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems in childhood, focusing on maternal psychological health in school-aged children in Korea.

FindingsThe current study included 1,003 children 580 boys, 423 girls, mean age 9.05 ± 0.70 years, age range 8–11 years recruited from schools in five Korean cities. Children’s internalizing and externalizing problems were assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist CBCL. The parents of the children completed structured questionnaires on perinatal factors. Among 1,003 children, 44 had internalizing problems IP and 30 had externalizing problems EP. When comparing children with IP n = 44 and without IP n = 959, severe maternal stress during pregnancy OR3.36, 95% CI 1.80-6.25 and postpartum depression OR3.19, 95% CI 1.36-7.53 showed a significant association with the IP. When comparing children with EP n = 30 and without EP n = 973, low family income OR2.19, 95% CI 1.05-4.56, unwanted pregnancy OR2.76, 95% CI 1.28-5.95 and severe maternal stress during pregnancy OR2.69, 95% CI 1.29-5.61 with the EP. Only maternal stress during pregnancy was significantly associated with the IP after controlling for postpartum depression and with the EP after controlling for family income and unwanted pregnancy.

ConclusionThis study suggests the importance of maternal psychological health during perinatal period on children’s mental health. Further prospective studies in a larger sample are required to confirm our findings.

KeywordsInternalizing problems Externalizing problem Perinatal risk factors  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Subin Park - Bung-Nyun Kim - Jae-Won Kim - Min-Sup Shin - Hee Jeong Yoo - Jin Lee - Soo-Churl Cho


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