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Studies suggest measures to help depressed mothers’ children

Uppsala: A new study of Syrian refugee families in Turkey and families with infants in Sweden and Bhutan found that children of mothers with poor mental health lag behind in cognitive development.

However, very small changes may be sufficient to break this correlation.

With lots of people around and the availability of communities in all three countries is two of the most important factors in helping children.

The results of this study were published in the journal “Developmental Science”.

“A 4% improvement in mother’s mental health statistically gives the child a year’s win in cognitive development. In other words, small measures can make a big difference in supporting the next generation.” Gustav Gledebuck, a professor of developmental psychology at Uppsala University and director of the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab, who led the study, said.

The survey was conducted through on-site interviews and experimental studies in Bhutan, Turkey and Sweden. In Sweden and Bhutan, 120 families with babies aged 9-10 months participated. In Turkey, 100 families fleeing Aleppo, Syria, participated in the survey. They have children between the ages of 6 and 18.

In Sweden, the main participants in the survey conducted by the Uppsala Child and Baby Lab were families with small children. In Bhutan, this material was collected in collaboration with the Faculty of Nursing and Public Health in Bhutan and the Khesar Gyalpo Medical College. In Turkey, the research was conducted with the help of researchers from the Faculty of Peace and Conflict Studies at Uppsala University.

A finding common to families in all three countries is that some of the child’s cognitive abilities were affected by the mental health of the mother, whether in a Syrian refugee family or in a safe environment in Sweden. It was that. The child’s intelligence did not seem to be affected. Rather, it was the child’s attention, social understanding, and decision-making ability that were adversely affected.

Individual conditions around the mother can exacerbate the situation. If the mother’s education level is low, her social support is low, she feels discriminated against, and her social status is low, the impact on her child is greater.

However, there are also clear initiatives that society can take to improve the situation and well-being of mothers and thus reduce their impact on their children: large families or large social networks with partner support. And the society gathers to support the mother.

“Every culture has a positive side. Sweden has an individualistic environment. Gender equality is on the rise. For example, sharing parental leave is a form of security. There are few natural meeting places for relatives and social situations, which is much more powerful in groups in other countries, “Gredeback said.

“In Bhutan, a lively religious life is very helpful. We have strong religious ties and many people attend religious meetings several times a week. This allows us to meet regularly with others. And extensive social support routines are provided, “Gredeback added.

It is important to note that all the correlations described are statistical. That is, it is based on observations between different parts of the study. Researchers have not yet studied the causal relationship of the correlation by improving the mental health of the mother in a risky environment and measuring its impact on the development of the child. This is the next step after the current correlation study.

“It stimulates the hope that only apparently small improvements are needed for a child to revive. In Sweden, especially for single mothers, we need to work hard to eliminate isolation. There is no such glue. Many people lack strong ties to their relatives and no extended family to share the burden, “Gredeback said.

“We lack the continuity of religious rituals and do not have many natural contexts to connect. If we can further increase these opportunities, the cognitive development flow of many children. We can change and provide a better life, “Gredeback concludes.

https://www.siasat.com/studies-suggest-measures-to-help-children-of-mothers-with-depression-2249403/ Studies suggest measures to help depressed mothers’ children

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