Henningham, Helen; Powell, Christine A.; Walker, Susan P.; Grantham-McGregor, Sally M.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Educational Studies
The effect of early stimulation on maternal depression : A cluster randomised controlled trial
Archives of Diseases in Childhood
Date of Publication
This study aims to determine the effect of early childhood stimulation with undernourished children and their mothers on maternal depression. Mothers of 139 undernourished children (weight for age< -1.5 z-scores) aged 9-30 months were recruited from 18 government health centres in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, and St. Catherine, Jamaica. They received weekly home visits by community health aides for one year. Mothers were shown play activities in which to engage with their child using home made materials, and parenting issues were discussed. Frequency of maternal depressive symptoms was assessed by questionnaire. Child development was also measured. Study concluded that a home visiting intervention with mothers of undernourished children, with a primary aim of improving child development, had significant benefits for maternal depression. Higher levels of maternal depression were associated with poorer developmental levels for boys only.....