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Journal of Human Growth and Development

Print version ISSN 0104-1282On-line version ISSN 2175-3598


SCHERRER, Isabela Resende Silva  and  ALVES, Claudia Regina Lindgren. Association of maternal depression, family composition and poverty with maternal care and physical health of children in the first year of life. J. Hum. Growth Dev. [online]. 2021, vol.31, n.1, pp. 18-27. ISSN 0104-1282.

INTRODUCTION: The child's overall health depends on several factors, including the quality of the environment in which it lives and the care it receives. Child well-being early in life has an impact on its future and future generations' health. OBJECTIVE: Analyze the association of maternal depression, family composition, and socioeconomic conditions with the indicator of maternal care and physical health of children. METHODS: Retrospective cohort that analyzed data from 120 children during their first year of life. A Health and Maternal Care Indicator (ISCM) was created, aggregating information on growth, breastfeeding, vaccination, prophylaxis of iron deficiency anemia, illnesses, and accidents. The socioeconomic and health conditions were obtained through a structured interview. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale assessed maternal depression. Quasipoisson Regression examined the association between the ICSM and the predictors. The initial model considered p<0.25 in the univariate analysis and p<0.05 in the final model. RESULTS: The mothers were adults (83.3%), studied for an average of 10 years, and 36% had depressive symptoms. About 37% of the families were single-parent female, 59% were from Class C1-C2 of ABEP, and 12% received the "Bolsa Família" benefit. ISCM was 8% lower in children whose mothers were depressed (p = 0.04) or had no partner (p = 0.03), and was 14% higher in families receiving Bolsa Família (p = 0.02) in relation to their peers. CONCLUSION: Maternal depression and female single-parent family arrangements negatively impacted child health and care, while the conditional cash transfer program represented a protective factor.

Keywords : maternal depression; maternal care; child health; socioeconomic factors; social support.

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