1st Edition

Postpartum Depression and Child Development

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ISBN 9781572305175
Published September 16, 1999 by Guilford Press
322 Pages

USD $40.00

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Book Description

One in ten women suffers from an episode of significant depression following the birth of a baby. These depressions can have a profoundly negative effect on the quality of the mother infant relationship and, in turn, on the course of child development itself. The first book in a decade to deal exclusively with the impact of postpartum depression on child development, this groundbreaking volume brings together rigorous and sophisticated research from eighteen of the leading authorities in the field.

Table of Contents

Foreword, PaykelI.
Introduction to Postpartum Depressive Disorders
1. The Nature of Postpartum Depressive Disorders, O'HaraII. The Architecture of Mother Infant Interactions and the Implications for Postpartum Depression
2. Fragile Aspects of Early Social Integration, Papousek and Papousek
3. The Psychotoxic Effects of Maternal Depression on the Mutual Emotional Regulation ofMother Infant Interaction, Tronick and Weinberg
III. Comparative Studies of the Impact of Postpartum Depression on Child Development
4. Postpartum Depression and Cognitive Development, Hay
5. The Role of Infant and Maternal Factors in Postpartum Depression, Mother Infant Interactions, and Infant Outcome, Murray and Cooper
6. Maternal Cognitions as Mediators of Child Outcomes in the Context of Postpartum Depression, Teti and Gelfand
7. The Timing and Chronicity of Postpartum Depression, Campbell and Cohn
IV. The Treatment of Postpartum Depression and Associated Mother Infant Disturbances
8. The Impact of Psychological Treatments of Postpartum Depression on Maternal Mood and Infant Development, Cooper and Murray
9. The Treatment of Depressed Mothers and Their Infants, Field
10. Psychodynamic Perspectives on the Treatment of Postpartum Depression, Cramer
V. Postpartum Psychosis
11. The Impact of Postpartum Affective Psychosis on the Child, Hipwell and Kumar
Afterword: Maternal Depression and Infant Development: Cause and Consequence; Sensitivity and Specificity, Rutter

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Lynne Murray received her undergraduate training in the Department of Psychology of the University of Edinburgh where she also carried out her doctoral research. In 1985 she was awarded the Winnicott Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. Since 1990 she has been supported as a Research Scientist by the Medical Research Council of Great Britain. In 1996 she moved to the Department of Psychology of the University of Reading as a Research Professor where, together with Peter Cooper, she is Co-Director of the Winnicott Research Unit.

Peter J. Cooper received his undergraduate training at the University of Cape Town. He carried out his doctoral research within the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Oxford where he also completed his clinical training. Following a postdoctoral Fellowship in Oxford, in 1983 he took up the Cambridge University Lectureship in Psychopathology. In 1993 he moved to the University of Reading to take up the Chair in Psychology.


The research described in this volume has cast light on both the nature of postnatal depression and its effects on infants. These issues are of considerable practical importance both because of the frequency of postpartum depression and because the effects on infants seem to impinge on a wide range of psychological functions in the individual child as well as on crucial patterns of family interaction. Most importantly, the concepts and findings discussed by the authors have potential implications for a much broader range of issues, both theoretical and practical, with respect to early psychological development. The high quality research described in this book, especially that undertaken by the editors, has clearly shown how difficult developmental questions can be tackled rigorously while still retaining a sensitivity to the subtleties of parent-child interaction and to the nuances of individual psychological development. --From the Afterword by Michael Rutter, Maternal Depression and Infant Development: Cause and Consequence; Sensitivity and Specificity

Over the past two decades there has been a great deal of research concerning the impact of postnatal depression on child development. This outstanding and timely volume, which has contributions from leading figures in the field, assembles this work in a remarkably coherent fashion. It succeeds by bringing together a wide variety of issues concerned with postnatal depression and infants, including epidemiology, basic infant development, developmental psychopathology and treatment. The book concludes with a brilliant critique of the field and its future by Sir Michael Rutter. Anyone with an interest in the subject should have this book on their shelves. --Alan Stein, MB BCh., FRCPsych., Leopold Muller Professor of Child & Family Mental Health, The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and the Tavistock Clinic

In dealing with the effects of postpartum depression on child behavior Murray and Cooper have captured the complexity of the developmental process in terms that will be informative to both clinicians and scientists.

An excellent set of contributors to this edited volume illuminate the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of maternal depression and explore the emotional, social, communicative, and cognitive pathways through which parental emotional state influences the lives of their children.

This book not only promotes understanding of the unfolding relationship between depressed mothers and their infant offspring that will be useful to every student of development, but provides a number of therapeutic models for enhancing their mental health that will be useful to clinicians as well. --Arnold J. Sameroff, Ph.D., Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan

This is a timely collection of papers on a vital subject--the effects of postpartum depression on an infant's future. Since the incidence of PPD is on the increase in our world, where new mothers are isolated, unprotected, and without support systems, they and their babies are bound to be more vulnerable to this type of depression. The type of infant with which a vulnerable parent must cope plays a significant role in their outcome. As clinicians, we could predict to this and offer increased support to mothers of such newborns.

The effects of maternal depression on the early social and cognitive development of the infant is likely to leave that infant's future at high risk for breakdown in the face of stress. Perhaps the ills of our time--the epidemic of violence and of breakdown in adolescence--could be curbed if we offered these mothers the support they need in order to nurture their infants more successfully. The marvelous plasticity of the immature nervous system might prepare the way for a better outcome if we as clinicians were more alert to the ominous outcomes with depressed mothers. This book is a challenge to call to all of us in the field of infant mental health. --T. Berry Brazelton, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Harvard Medical School

If the mother of a new-born baby is depressed, then her ways of relating to her baby in thought, feeling and action may be seriously affected. This volume represents a state-of-the art overview of the implications of maternal post-partum depression, interacting with associated environmental circumstances and infant characteristics, for the baby's subsequent emotional and cognitive development. The approaches to studying 'depression' and its potential effects on mother-baby interchanges [covered in this book] are diverse and deeply considered, and the analysis of direct and indirect effects on subsequent child development, as well as the evaluation of treatment, are at once challenging and circumspect. The findings [covered in this book] are important not only for understanding a range of factors that may alter the course of a child's early psychological development, but also for conceptualizing the very nature and significance of an infant's interpersonal relations and developing mental life. --R. Peter Hobson, Ph.D., FRCPsych, CPsychol, Tavistock Professor of Developmental Psychopathology in the University of London, Tavistock Clinic and University College, London

The impact of parenting on child development and behavior has become a subject of major medical, social and political concern. In Postpartum Depression & Child Development Lynne Murray and Peter Cooper have produced a book that comprehensively reviews what we know abut the consequences for infants of maternal depression in the postnatal period. Their team of contributors includes pioneers in the field--such as Hanus Papousek and Tiffany Field--and researchers whose work now leads the way--such as Murray and Cooper themselves. In this complex area of research, Postpartum Depression & Child Development is clear, balanced and fully up to date. It will be the key text on the subject for a decade or more. --Professor Louis Appleby, M.D., F.R.C.P, M.R.C.Psych, School of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Manchester
This is an excellent overview volume that I would commend to all practitioners working with the children of women suffering postpartum depression.....It is affordable, accessible, and provides clinically relevant information not easily found elsewhere. Not to be missed.
--Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review, 7/18/1999ƒƒ
Explor[es] the impact of postpartum depression through well-written chapters that capture international perspectives on research....Intended for psychiatrists, psychologists, and all professionals in the field of human development, this book belongs on the shelf of any student of postpartum depression.
--Psychiatric Services, 7/18/1999ƒƒ
An impressive collection of informative, richly referenced, and readable chapters....The research presented is far reaching, tackling many intriguing questions while raising more that require further investigation.
--The Lancet (North American Edition), 7/18/1999ƒƒ
[This volume] captures the state of the art in this rapidly growing field....An excellent textbook.
--The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 7/18/1999