Research Article| Volume 12, ISSUE 1, P12-20, February 1998

The effects of postpartum depression on child development: A meta-analysis

  • Cheryl Tatano Beck
    Address reprint requests to Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN, School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, 231 Glenbrook Road, U-26, Storrs, CT 06269-2026.
    School of Nursing, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA
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      The adverse, short-term effects of postpartum depression on maternal-infant interaction have been repeatedly documented. Are there long-term sequelae for children whose mothers had experienced postpartum depression? The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the magnitude of the effect of postpartum depression on the cognitive and emotional development of children older than the age of 1 year. Nine studies which met the sample criteria were included in this meta-analysis. Results indicated that postpartum depression had a small but significant effect on children's cognitive and emotional development. The r indicator for effect size ranged from .18 to .22 whereas the d indicator ranged from .36 to .45. Implications for future research are addressed.
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