Psychopathology and social functioning among offspring of depressed women

Rosemarie Fritsch M, María Elena Montt S, Jaime Solís G, Daniel Pilowsky, María Graciela Rojas C

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9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Offspring of depressive parents have two times more risk of developing a depression, other psychiatric diseases or a poor social functioning. Aim: To assess psychopathology and social functioning among offspring of currently depressed mothers. Material and methods: We enrolled 290 depressed mother-child pairs in five primary-care clinics in Santiago. A two-stage screening process to identify female primary-care patients with current major depressive illness with children aged 6-16 years, was used. All eligible and consenting patients were asked to complete the general health questionnaire (GHQ-12). Those scoring 5 or more were invited to participate in a baseline assessment. The final sample consisted of 290 mother-child pairs. Patients with a current DSM-IV diagnosis of major depression were eligible unless they had current psychotic symptoms, imminent suicide risk, history of mania, or current alcohol abuse. Child psychopathology was assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), a highly reliable and widely used parent-rated checklist to assess competencies and behavioural and emotional problems in children 4 to 18 years of age. Results: Fifty percent (95% confidence interval (CI): 43.9-55.7) of children had overall CBCL psychopathology scores in clinical range. Internalizing symptoms were more prevalent than externalizing symptoms (62.2% [95%CI: 56.3-67.8] and 35.7% [95%CI: 30.2-41.5]. Conclusions: A large proportion of children of depressed poor mothers attending primary care clinics in Chile, had psychopathological symptom scores in the clinical range, with a predominance of internalizing symptoms. These results are similar to those previously reported in the United States of America.

Translated title of the contributionPsychopathology and social functioning among offspring of depressed women
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)602-612
Number of pages11
JournalRevista Medica de Chile
Volume135
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

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