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Antenatal depression predicts depression in adolescent offspring

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Does antenatal depression predict depression in adolescent offspring?


A random sample of antenatal women from participating practices was taken, and 87% (155 women) provided information on their mental health during pregnancy and postnatally. This study analysed the 127 mother–child pairs (82%) that provided information on maternal mental health and mental health of offspring in adolescence (age 16 years; mother mean age at birth 26.0 years, 72% white British and 89% working class)


Two general practices in South London, from areas with deprivation scores ranked on the 6th and 11th percentiles in 2001/2002 (lower rank representing greater deprivation); study dates not reported.

Risk factors:

Maternal depression during pregnancy, the postnatal period and the following 16 years. Depressive episodes in mothers were assessed by GPs twice during pregnancy (between 14 and 20 weeks and at 36 weeks) and twice during the first postnatal year (at 3 and 12 months), using the Clinical Interview Schedule to generate ICD-9 diagnoses. Maternal depression was also assessed 4, 11 and 16 years after they gave birth using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and …

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  • Source of funding The Medical Research Council, UK.


  • Competing interests None.

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