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Maternal Depression and Adverse Parenting  

Author:  Susan J. Zuravin, Ph.D., M.S.W..; Donna Leigh Bliss, Ph.D., M.S.W..; Amy Cohen-Callow, Ph.D., M.S.W..

Source: Volume 01, Number 02, Fall 2008 , pp.171-190(20)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Depression is one of the most common sequelae of past or current abuse, and women are nearly twice as likely as men to become depressed during their lifetimes. But does current depression influence women’s ability to mother their children effectively? Unfortunately, depression does make it more difficult to take care of children, and this could perpetuate the intergenerational cycle of violence, with depressed mothers being more harsh, punitive, and neglectful than their non-depressed counterparts. The good news is that this cycle can be stopped if maternal depression is addressed, and is one more good reason to screen mothers for depression—especially those who have experienced interpersonal violence.


Affiliations:  1: University of Maryland School of Social Work; 2: University of Georgia School of Social Work; 3: University of Maryland School of Social Work.

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