Study: link found between maternal depression and child injury

May 19, 2008

Infants and toddlers whose mothers are severely depressed may be nearly three times as likely to have accidental injuries than children whose mothers are moderately depressed.

Infants and toddlers whose mothers are severely depressed may be nearly three times as likely to have accidental injuries than children whose mothers are moderately depressed.

As reported in the online Journal of Pediatric Psychology, investigators included 1,364 mothers from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care for their study. Severe depression was reported by 2.5% of participants, while 15.5% reported moderate depression.

The nearly threefold increase in accidental injury risk among infants and toddlers whose mothers had severe, chronic depression remained consistent when taking into account socioeconomic status, parenting styles, and the children's sex, temperament, and behavior.

The difference in injury risk did not remain for children from age 3 to first grade, however.