Maternal Depression Affects The Child’s Ability To Speak: Study Finds

Maternal Depression Affects The Child's Ability To Speak

Mental Health News

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences explored how maternal depression influences a child’s ability to speak. The study is published in the journal JAMA Network Open.

The Study

The research team surveyed 46 mothers (who reported different moods after giving birth) and their babies. It used a questionnaire to diagnose postnatal upset or baby blues. An electroencephalography (EEG) was also used to measure how well the babies could distinguish speech sounds from one another.

The Findings

The results revealed a link between the mother’s mood and the newborn language development. Persistent negative moods and depressive symptoms in mothers correlated with delayed language development in children.

One of the lead researchers, Gesa Schaadt, elaborated: “We suspect that the affected mothers use less infant-directed-speech. They probably use less pitch variation when directing speech to their infants. [This possibly delays the baby’s ability to speak].

To Know More You May Refer To

Schaadt, G., Zsido, R. G., Villringer, A., Obrig, H., Männel, C., & Sacher, J. (2022). Association of Postpartum Maternal Mood With Infant Speech Perception at 2 and 6.5 Months of Age. JAMA network open5(9), e2232672. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.32672

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