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The impact of maternal perinatal depression on exposure to reading and screen time for their infants: Pilot findings from the MPEWS Study

Cowderoy, G., Power, J., Lewis, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-2519-7976, Watson, S.ORCID: 0000-0001-7228-3490 and Galbally, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-3909-1918 (2020) The impact of maternal perinatal depression on exposure to reading and screen time for their infants: Pilot findings from the MPEWS Study. Australasian Psychiatry, 28 (5). pp. 559-562.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1039856220928869
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Abstract

Objective:
To explore the association between maternal depression and the screen and reading time experienced by their infants.

Methods:
This study utilises data on 158 women and infants, collected within the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study. Women less than 20 weeks gestation were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders. Six months postpartum they completed questionnaires about themselves, their infant and early parenting practices.

Results:
Children of women with a past diagnosis of depression were exposed to fewer days of 15-minute reading time per week compared to the children of women with no diagnosis. While the current depression group showed a lower average reading time, this difference was not statistically significant. There were no significant differences in infant screen time between groups.

Conclusions:
A maternal past diagnosis of depression is correlated with decreased reading time in infants. This may present a practical point for screening and intervention or suggest a causal pathway for poorer outcomes in children of those with depression.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: SAGE
Copyright: © 2020 by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/56377
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