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Maternal mental health and child problem behaviours: Disentangling the role of depression and borderline personality dysfunction

Huntley, F and Wright, N and Pickles, A and Sharp, H and Hill, J (2018) Maternal mental health and child problem behaviours: Disentangling the role of depression and borderline personality dysfunction. BJPsych Open, 3 (6). pp. 300-305. ISSN 2056-4724

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Abstract

Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2017. Background: It is not known whether associations between child problem behaviours and maternal depression can be accounted for by comorbid borderline personality disorder (BPD) dysfunction. Aim: To examine the contributions of maternal depression and BPD symptoms to child problem behaviours. Method: Depression trajectories over the fist-year postpartum were generated using repeated measurement from a general population sample of 997 mothers recruited in pregnancy. In a stratified subsample of 251, maternal depression and BPD symptoms were examined as predictors of child problem behaviours at 2.5 years. Results: Child problem behaviours were predicted by a high maternal depression trajectory prior to the inclusion of BPD symptoms. This association was no longer significant after the introduction of BPD symptoms. Conclusions: Risks for child problem behaviours currently attributed to maternal depression may arise from more persistent and pervasive difficulties found in borderline personality dysfunction.

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