Abstract

This study investigates whether three-year-old children whose mothers had been depressed after their birth showed more behaviour disturbance than children of mothers who were not depressed at that time. Ninety-one of 103 mothers who took part in an earlier prospective study of postnatal depression were reinterviewed three years later to determine their present mental state, and to assess their child's behaviour, using Richman's Behavioural Screening Questionnaire. No relationship was found between a prolonged postnatal depression and behaviour disturbance in the child, but children whose mothers had brief postnatal depressive episodes showed more behaviour disturbance than those whose mothers had not been depressed since childbirth.