Treating Mom Helps Kids, Too

Children whose mothers get treatment for depression have better mental health themselves.

Thursday June 1st - 12:00am

Filed Under: ADHD and Depression

It's well established that children who have a depressed parent are more likely to have their own problems with anxiety and depression. Now a group of researchers, led by Myrna M. Weissman, Ph.D., of Columbia University in New York City, report that treating depression in mothers improves the mental health of their children.

Weissman's team followed the children, age 7 to 17, of 151 mothers who sought treatment for depression. After three months of treatment, many of the mothers had overcome their depression, and only 24 percent of their children showed symptoms of mental health problems. For the mothers who remained depressed after three months, the proportion of children with mental illness actually increased, to 43 percent.

The study was published in the March 22/29, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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