Trajectories of maternal symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 13-year longitudinal study of a population-based sample

Skipstein, Anni; Janson, Harald; Stoolmiller, Mike; Mathiesen, Kristin S.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10, p589
Academic Journal
Background: There is a lack of population-based studies of developmental trajectories following mothers throughout the whole child-rearing phase and there are few longitudinal studies focusing on both symptoms of depression and anxiety. The aim of the current study is to identify latent trajectory groups based on counts of symptoms of anxiety and depression among mothers throughout the child-rearing phase and the relations of the latent groups to maternal socio-demographic variables. Methods: Data is from a prospective, longitudinal study of nearly 1000 families in Norway followed from when the index children were 18 months until they were 14.5 years old (the TOPP study). The study used latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify latent groups of mothers with distinct trajectories across time of symptom counts. Latent group differences on socio-demographic variables were tested with one-way ANOVAs, chi-square tests and exact tests. Results: Six trajectories based on maternal scores from six waves of data collection of symptoms of anxiety and depression were identified; a 'No symptoms' group with mothers without symptoms; a 'Low' group with mothers reporting low symptom levels; a 'Moderate-low' group with mothers reporting moderately low symptom levels; a 'Moderate' group with mothers with moderate symptoms; a 'High-chronic' group with mothers with overall high symptom levels; and a 'Low-rising' group with mothers starting with a low symptom level that increased over time. The mothers in the High-chronic symptom group differed from the other mothers on several socio-demographic variables. They were significantly younger than the mothers in the Low group comprising the oldest mothers. The mothers in the High-chronic group had significantly lower education, were less likely to have paid work and were less likely to be living with a partner than the mothers in the other groups. Conclusions: The study shows socio-demographic differences between mothers classified into six trajectory groups based on symptoms of anxiety and depression covering 13 years of the child-rearing period. Specific sociodemographic risk factors characterised mothers in the High-chronic symptom group. Identifying subgroups with enduring problems might inform more targeted preventive efforts.


Related Articles

  • Gebelikte Sosyodemografik DeÄŸiÅŸkenlerin Kaygı ve Depresyon Düzeyleriyle Ä°liÅŸkisi. AKBAŞ, Ebru; VIRIT, Osman; KALENDERO/LU, Aysun; SAVAŞ, A. Haluk; SERTBAŞ, Gülümser // Archives of Neuropsychiatry / Noropsikiatri Arsivi;2008, Vol. 45 Issue 3, p85 

    Objective: Pregnancy constitutes a time of significant life change requiring major biological and psychosocial adjustments, and includes many risk factors for depression and anxiety. We aimed to investigate the association between sociodemographic variables with the levels of depressive and...

  • First-time hospitalisation for depressive and/or anxiety disorders and severe life events. Amiel-Lebigre, F.; Lacalmontie, E.; Menard, F. // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Dec2002, Vol. 37 Issue 12, p586 

    Background: It has been suggested that the impact of antecedent life events differs between first and subsequent episodes of depressive or anxiety disorders. Method: We used the Bedford College methodology to determine the presence of severe events and/or major difficulties in two different...


    OBJECTIVES The purpose of current study was reinvestigate the significance of age of children and presence of siblings in determining depression, anxiety and stress in mothers of intellectually disabled children. DESIGN Descriptive study. PLACE AND DURATION Study was done at Institute of...

  • The influence of social class, strain and social support on symptoms of anxiety and depression in mothers of toddlers. Mathiesen, K. S.; Tambs, K.; Dalgard, O. S. // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;1999, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p61 

    Abstract: Background: The aim of the study was to identify risk and protective factors for anxiety and depression among mothers of toddlers. Methods: A population-based sample of 921 Norwegian mothers with 18-month-old children completed a questionnaire designed to examine the impact of...

  • Stress Sensitization and Adolescent Depressive Severity as a Function of Childhood Adversity: A Link to Anxiety Disorders. Espejo, Emmanuel P.; Hammen, Constance L.; Connolly, Nicole P.; Brennan, Patricia A.; Najman, Jake M.; Bor, William // Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology;Apr2007, Vol. 35 Issue 2, p287 

    The goal of the present study was to determine whether exposure to adversity in childhood contributes to a differential threshold at which stressful life events provoke depressive reactions in adolescence. In addition, to address empirical and conceptual questions about stress effects, the...

  • Letters. Kaemmer, Carolin; Milo, Ronit; Douglas, Gayle; Pal, Barbara; Crowder, Rachael // Herizons;Fall2005, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p2 

    Presents several letters to the editor referencing articles and topics discussed in previous issues of the journal "Herizons." Criticism on the article "The Mother Load," by Leigh Felesky and Mira Kirshner, published in the Summer 2005 issue; Discussion of mother's stress-induced mental loads...

  • ANXIETY, DYSPHORIA, AND DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS IN MOTHERS OF PRETERM INFANTS. Padovani, Flávia Helena Pereira; Carvalho, Ana EmíLia Vita; Duarte, Geraldo; Martinez, Francisco Eulógio; Linhares, Maria Beatriz Martins // Psychological Reports;Apr2009, Vol. 104 Issue 2, p667 

    To compare presence and severity of clinical symptoms of anxiety, dysphoria, and depression in mothers of preterm and of full-term infants and to observe changes in symptoms of mothers of preterm infants during hospitalization of the infants and after discharge, 50 mothers of preterm infants and...

  • New mothers not coping.  // CPJ: Counselling & Psychotherapy Journal;Jun2005, Vol. 16 Issue 5, p33 

    The article reports that thousands of new mothers in Taiwan cannot cope with having a baby and are suffering significant levels of stress. The study of new mothers, led by Professor Chich-Hsiu Hung, from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan, shows that the anxieties caused by a new baby are...

  • The Truth About Baby Blues. Triffin, Molly // Cosmopolitan;Dec2005, Vol. 239 Issue 6, p152 

    The article presents information about postpartum depression. A powerful hormonal shift is experienced by new mothers after childbirth. Some mothers are plagued with fatigue, anxiety and feeling of hopelessness. For a number of women, the emotional pain is so intense that they contemplate...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics