Mothers experiencing depression can still thrive as parents

Seniors Daily Exercise
Mothers with depression who reported higher levels of support felt less stressed and more competent in their parenting, says Dr. Sarah Dow-Fleisner at UBCO’s School of Social Work.

The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” takes on new significance when a mother of a child is experiencing depression.

“Being a mother with depression carries increased risks for a child’s physical and psychological health,” says Dr. Sarah Dow-Fleisner, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work and Director of the Centre for the Study of Services to Children and Families at UBC Okanagan. “But it’s not fated to be, especially if mothers have external supports.”

Dr. Dow-Fleisner’s findings, recently published in the Journal of Family Issues, have important implications for how social workers and clinical practitioners—as well as families and communities—can help.

While a lot of research focuses on the postpartum period during which the rate of depression among mothers is highest, Dr. Dow-Fleisner wanted to focus on depression occurring later in childhood. Her team used data from a large longitudinal US study to compare depressed and non-depressed mothers of nine-year-old children.

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News