From API’s Publications Team
According to an article on InTheNews.co.uk, “One in Four Aussie Kids Have Parent with Mental Illness,” mentally ill parents are more likely to form insecure attachments with their children.
A study published in the January 6 Psychiatric Bulletin explains the correlation between the more severe mental illnesses and less sensitive and competent parenting, insecure infant attachment, lower quality bonds between mother and child, and a greater risk of mental illness developing in the children. However, the authors stress that mental illness in parents does not guarantee poor outcomes in children, only that there appears to be a greater risk.
To read the entire article, go to www.inthenews.co.uk/news/health/autocodes/autocodes/australia/one-in-four-aussie-kids-have-parent-with-mental-illness–$1258690.htm.
By Pam Stone, co-leader of API of Merrimack Valley, New Hampshire
**Originally published in the Summer 2008 AP in a Non-AP World issue of The Journal of API
All babies cry. And all parents are continually striving to find the best way to respond to those cries.
Unfortunately, there is an abundance of misguided information about how to best respond to a crying baby; sometimes friends, family members, and even health practitioners may push advice upon parents that has not been well-researched.
Babies are born with brains that are only 25 percent of their full-grown size. Ninety percent of post-birth brain growth occurs in the first five years of life, influenced greatly by each interaction between the child and his caregivers. Brain connections are formed based on life experiences, particularly emotional experiences. If a child is not consistently comforted when in distress, his brain will not form the vital pathways that will help him learn to manage his own emotions and impulses. This can have a lasting impact into adulthood. Continue reading Crying and Comforting
From API’s Publications Team
An article on France’s InfosJuenes.com, “Risk of Maternal Depression on the Infant,” reveals research that shows the negative effects of depression in mothers on their babies.
Compared to children of nondepressed mothers, children of mothers with postpartum depression typically perform worse on cognitive and behavior measures, and exhibit higher rates of insecure attachment. The reason: Depressed mothers tend to be withdrawn and disengaged when interacting with their infants, and to be less attuned to their infants’ needs.
In one study, the age at which these poor cognitive measures become most apparent is 18 months. In another study, depression in parents was the number-one predictor of negative parenting behaviors like yelling, hitting, and shaking once factors for socio-economic status, ethnicity, education level, parent age, and employment status were taken out of consideration.
Research has also found a direct correlation between preventing postpartum depression and prevention of behavior issues, insecure attachment, and decline in IQ in infants.