The indirect effects of maternal psychopathology in early childhood on adolescent health outcomes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jessica Garcia (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan Keane

Abstract: Maternal psychopathology has been linked to adolescent mental health outcomes and an emerging literature suggests that early life stressors induce long-term effects on physical health. Bridging together two related but siloed literatures, the present study examined two indirect effects of maternal psychopathology on adolescent health outcomes. Specifically, maternal psychopathology was hypothesized to exert its longitudinal effect on youth’s depressive symptoms and CRP levels, an inflammatory biomarker associated with a host of chronic health conditions, indirectly through a developmentally salient process involving psychosocial functioning in middle childhood and BMI status in adolescence. The present study prospectively analyzed a longitudinal data set of 288 community-dwelling mother-child dyads (162 females, 65% White) spanning 3 time points, early childhood (M age = 5), middle childhood (M age = 10), and adolescence (M age = 17). A structural equation model was employed to examine the indirect effects of maternal psychopathology in early childhood on adolescent health outcomes. Results supported two hypothesized model pathways from maternal psychopathology to depressive symptoms via psychosocial functioning [?=.071, SE=.038; CI (.013, .157)] and CRP levels via psychosocial functioning and BMI status [?=.042, SE=.022; CI (.006, .091)] in adolescence. Findings highlight the long-term effects of maternal psychopathology and suggest a developmentally salient point of intervention via psychosocial functioning in middle childhood. [This abstract may have been edited to remove characters that will not display in this system. Please see the PDF for the full abstract.]

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
CRP, Depression, Maternal psychopathology, Psychosocial Functioning
Children of mentally ill mothers
Teenagers $x Health and hygiene
Mother and child
C-reactive protein

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