Parent’s Depression Lowers Kids’ Grades

Mothers and fathers influence their children in subtle ways that they seldom realize. That truth is borne out by a study from Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia and published online in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers found that children whose parents are battling depression are at greater risk of doing badly in school -- and a mother's depression is more likely to affect a daughter.

They focused on the school results for all Swedish youth born between 1984 and 1994, looking for associations linking diagnoses of parental depression from inpatient and outpatient records with school grades for children born during that time span.

In all, the data included over 1.1 million children, plus 33,906 mothers and 23,724 fathers who had depression before a child reached the end of schooling. Statistics showed that 3 percent of mothers and 2.1 percent of fathers experienced depression before the final year of a child's education.

Findings showed a link between lower grades and maternal and paternal depression at any time before the child finishedschooling. Adjusting for other factors revealed that paternal postnatal depression was not statistically significant. Depression in mothers affected girls' performance more than that of boys.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that depression affects 7.6 percent of Americans aged 12 years and older, 3 percent of whom have severe depressive symptoms.More than 43 percent of people with mild depressive symptoms and nearly 90 percent of those with severe depression face problems at work, at home and in social activities.

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Sourced from: Medical News Today, Parental depression lowers school grades