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They Say: Depressed Mom Makes Bad Teens

pregnant-belly-300x199As if being pregnant and depressed wasn’t hard enough. Now researchers say your depression could make your life miserable again in say thirteen years.

A new study out of Cardiff and Bristol universities and King’s College London has posited a link between moms who are depressed during their pregnancy and violent teenage offspring.

Evaluating the children of women who suffered depression during their pregnancy – but not necessarily after giving birth – the researchers found a third had been arrested and/or had a diagnosis of DSM-IV conduct disorder by sixteen years of age. Of those, forty-five percent had committed violent acts.

Published in the journal Child Development, the study is very small – just one hundred twenty women were chosen (at random), although researchers did add controls for family environment, the child’s later exposure to maternal depression, the mother’s smoking and drinking during pregnancy, and parents’ antisocial behavior.

These studies have their place, including shining a light on the importance of treatment for women with depression and helping women face they’re not alone. But with the mounting evidence that we can screw up our kids even before we birth them, it’s getting harder and harder NOT to be depressed.

Image: 3neus via flickr

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