Depression Linked to Lack of Brain Changes in Parenting
People with depression often struggle with parenthood because they are emotionally unavailable.
Researchers found that depressed parents may also have problems with memory, thus disputing their ability to set goals for their child at the appropriate developmental stage.
Researchers found that in the weeks after birth, a mother's interaction with her child leads to structural changes in the brain. These changes, which can also occur in fathers, help parents respond to the needs of the infant.
The findings revealed that these changes might not occur if depressed parents have not had optimal and frequent interactions with their newborns. Lack of structural changes may result in parenting difficulties that can ultimately lead to a child with behavioral problems.
"We have looked at a wide range of research studies and identified multiple factors that link depression in adults to difficulties in their parenting role," lead researcher Dr Lamprini Psychogiou from the University of Exeter said in a news release.
"This work will help identify areas in which future research is necessary in order to develop interventions that will prevent mental health issues from being transmitted from one generation to the next. We hope that this will go some way towards helping both depressed parents and their children."