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Quality Childcare Combats Maternal Depression

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and it affects more women than men. A Canadian study is demonstrating how quality childcare can affect a family when a mother struggles with depression.

The birth of a child can trigger mixed emotions, from happiness and excitement to fear and anxiety. Studies have shown that children of depressed mothers have difficulties in social functioning and are at an increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems. Social scientists from Quebec studied the role that childcare played in the lives of children with mothers who may have been depressed. They surveyed 264 families over the course of three years and found that children who attended high-quality childcare during preschool years were less likely to display hyperactivity and inattention compared to children who attended low-quality childcare.

Parents looking for high-quality childcare should make sure the childcare setting promotes social skills, helps children regulate their emotions and behavior, and helps them develop the ability to follow rules and requests. This can be beneficial for children exposed to maternal depression.

An Australian study of 438 families found that even on a part-time basis, childcare was associated with reduced child behavior difficulties at age five. It is important to note that mothers should seek treatment for their depression. Home visiting programs, like Nurse-Family Partnership, can help stay-at-home moms dealing with postpartum depression.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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