Some Thoughts

As I am studying for finals and reflecting on my grades this semester, I wonder how important it is to naturally be good at what your career is.  I know I do not naturally succeed at science or math.  I need to work a lot harder than my peers to get grades that still may be lower than them.  Lately I’ve been reflecting on how my life would be easier if I was studying something I was naturally good at.

I know I am better at English and social studies, which is unfortunate because there are few classes I will be taking for my major/pre-med requirements that deal with these areas.  This afternoon I researched “Pre-Law” because I know law has more to do with reading, writing, and communication then science does.  Looking over the classes, I was not interested in many although I felt they would be easier for me than Biology and Chemistry (examples: Argumentative Writing and Contemporary Global Issues).  That makes me wonder if I do something that I am good at, will I eventually learn to love it?

All I do know is that I am extremely interested in becoming a doctor and I can’t see myself in any other career.  Right now, I will stick with the pre-med track but more and more I realize I shouldn’t be closed minded towards other careers and that I need to take into account different factors besides what I am passionate about.

Here’s a link to the Pre-Law courses:  http://manoa.hawaii.edu/pac/Information%20Sheets/LAW_Classes_Fall2013.pdf

Annotated Bibliography Draft

Note: WordPress does not let me format the bibliography correctly, but it will be properly formatted in the final

What are the effects (if any) of postpartum depression in the mother’s child and how long do these effects last into the child’s life?

Depression is a prevalent disease in many Americans today.  Currently, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men.  One form of this depression is postpartum depression, which is depression that onsets after a other gives birth to her child.  Postpartum depression causes apathy, coldness, and sadness in the mother and these attitudes can also be transferred onto the child.  My research question seeks to find the degree to which postpartum depression affects the mother’s child.  It also seeks to discover the types of effects on the child as well as to how long and at what time the effects occur.

Quevedo, L. A., Silva, R. A., Godoy, R. R., Jansen, K. K., Matos, M. B., Tavares Pinheiro, K. A., & Pinheiro, R. T. (2012). The impact of maternal post-partum depression on the language development of children at 12 months. Child: Care, Health & Development, 38(3), 420-424.

This is a study published on the effect of post-partum depression on children done on mothers treated by the Brazilian National System of Public Health.  The studies first tested mothers and their children a month after delivery and then a year after.  This study focused on the effect post-partum depression had on the linguistic abilities of the children, and found a negative effect, which was worsened the longer the post-partum existed.  This study is useful for my research because it shows the effect post-partum depression has specifically on a child’s linguistic ability, which is a relatively short term effect after the initial post-partum depression.

Denis, A. A., Ponsin, M. M., & Callahan, S. S. (2012). The relationship between maternal self-esteem, maternal competence, infant temperament and post-partum blues. Journal Of Reproductive & Infant Psychology, 30(4), 388-397.

In this study, mothers completed surveys concerning depression levels from pregnancy to three years after birth  Their depression was measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.  The mothers’ children then took an IQ test at eight years of age.  The findings pointed that there was no significant correlation between a mother’s post-partum depression and a child’s cognitive ability.  This study is useful for my project because it shows the long-term outcome of post-partum depression and how it didn’t effect children in this aspect of measurement (IQ testing).

Murray, L., Arteche, A., Fearon, P., Halligan, S., Croudace, T., & Cooper, P. (2010). The effects of maternal postnatal depression and child sex on academic performance at age 16 years: a developmental approach. Journal Of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 51(10), 1150-1159.

This study tested children who were sixteen years old that had mothers with post-natal (aka post-partum) depression.  They tested the children using a variety of things, including the “General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam performance of maternal depression (postnatal and subsequent) and IQ, child sex and earlier cognitive development, and mother-child interactions, using structural equation modelling (SEM).”  The study showed that male children were affected by post-partum depression during early cognitive development, and these effects continued throughout the years.  This study contributes to my research by showing some relationship between post-partum depression and children, measured in a variety of aspects.  The specificity of gender (only males affected) is also an important note.

Deave, T. T., Heron, J. J., Evans, J. J., & Emond, A. A. (2008). The impact of maternal depression in pregnancy on early child development. BJOG: An International Journal Of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 115(8), 1043-1051.

This study surveyed mothers about their depression at 18 and 32 weeks of gestation and at 8 weeks and 8 months postnatally using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.  When the child was 18 months, the mothers filled out another survey concerning their child’s development.  The findings of this study show that children were developmentally delayed because of post-partum depression, but also that depression throughout the pregnancy contributed to the developmental delay as well.  This study is important to my research because it also includes results and links to children being affected by depression during pregnancy, as well as after.

AKTAŞ, D., & TERZİOĞLU, F. (2013). Occurrence of depression during the postpartum period and risk factors that affect the development of the depression. Turkish Journal Of Medical Sciences, 43(5), 843-850.

This study involved 320 women in 2007 who took the Edinburgh Scale of Postpartum Depression (EPDS) to see how the results would correlate to the development of postpartum depression.  The study found that the number of points scored (13+) was indicative of sensitivity to depression.  The study also found that the points scored was significant, according to factors of  “educational status, age, desire for the pregnancy, and having difficulty in caring for the baby with the spouse.”  Concerning my research topic, this study would help me look at the various factors of postpartum depression and see how those individual factors may affect a child (ie not only the depression affects the child, but the factors that trigger the depression).  I think this is useful because it shows that even though studies might state different ways the postpartum depression affects the child, one must keep in mind the other factors that affect a child’s growth beyond the depression.

Buu, A., diPaazza, C., Jing, W., Puttler, L. I., Fitzgerald, H. E., & Zucker, R. A. (2009). Parent, Family, and Neighborhood Effects on the Development of Child Substance Use and Other Psychopathology From Preschool to the Start of Adulthood. Journal Of Studies On Alcohol & Drugs, 70(4), 489-498.

In this study, researchers looked at the long-term effects of substance abuse in families and neighborhoods on the children that live within them.  The study spanned over two decades and found that similar symptoms in parents predicted similar disorders in their children.  The study also found that family socioeconomic status and neighborhood instability, as well as parental mental disease, are significant factors in the likelihood of a child to develop a mental disease or abuse substances.  This information is important to my research because it links parental psychopathy (including depression) to the likelihood of the children developing the disease as well as developing substance-abuse as a result of the mental disease.  Although the parental psychopathy in this case is not necessarily post-partum depression, the effects of parental depression on a child may be similar and can possibly show the acerbity of post-partum depression with respect to other forms of depression and/or mental disorders.

Mensah, F. K., & Kiernan, K. E. (2010). Parents’ mental health and children’s cognitive and social development. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 45(11), 1023-1035.

This study investigated the correlation between the mental health of parents and socioeconomic resources with their children’s cognitive and social development.  The study found lower achievement in “communication, language and literacy, mathematical development and personal, social and emotional development” with children whose parents were under severe distress.  The mother’s mental health had a much larger effect on the boys than the girls.  This study is significant because it shows how important parental mental health is to a child’s development.  The wide range of negative effects on the children show that postpartum depression, a form of mental disorder, is not to be taken lightly and can have a significant impact on childhood development, which in turn can affect a child’s life years down the line.

Lung, F., Chiang, T., Lin, S., & Shu, B. (2009). Parental mental health and child development from six to thirty-six months in a birth cohort study in Taiwan. Journal Of Perinatal Medicine, 37(4), 397-402. doi:10.1515/JPM.2009.076

This study investigated the connections between parent’s mental health and their child’s development at 6, 8, and 36 months after birth.  The results showed that the mental health of the parent’s directly affected the child’s language and social development, although this wasn’t evident until the child was 36 months.  This study is significant because it shows the correlation between parents’ mental health and their child’s development.  It also gives a specific time period to when the effects on the child’s development are evident, which is useful to my research because it gives a specific timeline to when the effects are possibly felt for a child whose mother has postpartum depression.

Letourneau, N., Dennis, C., Benzies, K., Duffett-Leger, L., Stewart, M., Tryphonopoulos, P. D., & … Watson, W. (2012). Postpartum Depression is a Family Affair: Addressing the Impact on Mothers, Fathers, and Children. Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 33(7), 445-457.

This paper addresses postpartum depression effects on the entire family, including the mother, father and child(ren).  It addresses the effects of postpartum depression in children, and their “cognitive and social-emotional development.”  The overall purpose of the paper is to research and possibly identify postpartum depression as a family condition.  This piece is useful because it brings another perspective to the effects of postpartum depression.  It may be possible that the effects of the depression on the child do not only stem from the mother, but also from the father and his reaction to the depression.  This possibly leads to the change in the overall well being of the family, which is another factor to consider that affects the child(ren).

Grace, S. L., Evindar, A. A., & Stewart, D. E. (2003). The effect of postpartum depression on child cognitive development and behavior: A review and critical analysis of the literature. Archives Of Women’s Mental Health, 6(4), 263-274.

This article synthesizes various literature on the topic of postpartum depression.  It discusses the results of studies on the effect of postpartum depression, including the effect on cognitive development depending on the sex of the child.  It also mentions the fact that chronic or recurrent maternal depression is more likely to affect children in the long-term, as opposed to postpartum depression.  This article is helpful to me because it summarizes and links different studies while also giving the effects of postpartum depression on children something to compare the effects to.

Emanuel, L. (2006). Disruptive and distressed toddlers: The impact of undetected maternal depression on infants and young children1An earlier version of this paper titled ‘The effects of post-natal depression on a child’ appeared in Psychoanalytic.. Infant Observation, 9(3), 249-259.

This article describes clinical interventions where the interactions between the parent and toddler suggested the mother had undiagnosed postpartum depression.  This was confirmed by the mothers.  This article states that this example shows how the toddler’s disruptive behavior could be linked to innate defenses by the young baby against the anxiety of postpartum depression.  The information found in this article is useful to me because it gives a visible example and link to post-partum depression in a child.  In addition, it suggests the idea that the disruptive behavior of the toddler was specifically because of an innate defense of the infant, which is a possible symptom to the effects of postpartum depression in children.

Segre, L. S., O’Hara, M. W., Arndt, S., & Stuart, S. (2007). The prevalence of postpartum depression. Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 42(4), 316-321.

This study was done to find out the prevalence of postpartum depression based on social status.  Three factors are considered for social status: income, education, and occupational prestige.  These all were found to play a role in the likelihood of postpartum decision; the highest factor found was income.  This article is helpful to my research because it presents a background to postpartum depression and also looks at different factors that trigger the depression.  No person is the same, and this article brings to mind the idea that the effects of postpartum depression on children may vary depending on the mother’s personal life.

MacDonald, P. (2013). A need for vigilance. Practice Nurse, 43(6), 34-37.

This paper address the role of practice nurses managing postpartum depression.  Because practice nurses have so much contact with the patient, they ideally are the one that will help the mother manage the depression.  The paper also states the symptoms of postpartum depression, including fatigue, loss of appetite, and guilt.  This paper is useful to me because it gives a partial solution to postpartum depression which could possibly ease or negate the negative effects on the mothers’ children.  It also lists the general symptoms of postpartum depression, which is important for the paper background.

Beeber, L. S., Chazan-Cohen, R., Squires, J., Jones Harden, B., Boris, N. W., Heller, S. S., & Malik, N. M. (2007). The early promotion and intervention research consortium (E-PIRC): Five approaches to improving infant/toddler mental health in Early Head Start.Infant Mental Health Journal, 28(2), 130-150.

This article addresses different research projects conducted in Early Head Start Programs.  The projects tested the results of “infant/toddler development, behavior, and parent-child interactions” based on infant/toddler mental health approaches.  The findings of these projects are useful in order to find the risk factors of mental health and also the variables that would curb the effects of having parents with mental health issues on the young children.  This article is important because it has data that will show what factors of parents with mental health issues exacerbate or mitigate the impact of these mental health issues on their children.  I could then apply the knowledge of such factors back to the postpartum depression issue, and see in the spectrum of other mental disorders how severe the effect of postpartum depression is on children.

Infant mental health. (2006). Therapy Today, 17(9), 8.

This article discusses the importance of emotional and development of children and the parent’s role in this development.  According to the author, psychiatry professor Charles Zeanah, the first years of a child’s life have the most transition and complexity of change.  This source is useful because it shows the significance of a child’s early years in regards to development.  This relates to my research topic because postpartum depression occurs in a child’s early years, which based on evidence from this article shows the important role it plays in a child’s development and how much of an effect it could have on a child.