The impact of pre- and perinatal factors on psychopathology in adulthood

Cecilia Essau, Satoko Sasagawa, Peter M. Lewinsohn, Paul Rohde

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Background: There is considerable evidence that pre- and post-natal factors are associated with a wide range of psychopathology in offspring during childhood and adolescence.
Objective: The main aims of the present study were to examine the associations between pre- and perinatal factors and psychopathology in offspring during adulthood, and to explore whether family factors (i.e., family cohesion, mother’s social support, and father’s social support) mediate these relationships.
Method: Information on pre- and perinatal events was collected from biological mothers of the participants (N=315) when they were between 14 and 18 years who were then followed up until they reached age 30.
Results: Maternal obstetric history and illness during first year were significant predictors of offspring anxiety disorder. Maternal emotional health predicted offspring affective disorder. Difficult delivery and breast feeding predicted disruptive disorder. The relationship between maternal obstetric history/emotional health and anxiety/affective disorder were no longer significant after controlling for family cohesion.
Limitations: The information was based on maternal recall when their offspring were between 14-18 years which may be subjected to recall bias.
Conclusion: The association between pre- and postnatal factors and psychopathology of offspring during adulthood is mediated by familial factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Early online date21 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2018

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