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Epidemiol Health > Accepted Articles
Epidemiology and Health 2019;e2019035.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2019035    [Accepted] Published online Jul 19, 2019.
Evaluating the relationship between maternal mental health and communication skill in children, Shiraz, Iran
Najmeh Maharlouei2  , Hossein Alibeigi5  , Abbas Rezaianzadeh1  , Pedram Keshavarz3  , Hadi Raeisi Shahraki4  , Hamid Nemati6  , Kamran B. lankarani7 
1Colorectal Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3Department of Radiology, Medical Imaging Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Shahrekord, Iran
5Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
6Shiraz Neuroscience Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
7Health Policy Research Center, Institute of Health, Shiraz University of Medical sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Correspondence  Abbas Rezaianzadeh ,Tel: +98-713-2309615, Email: rezaiana@gmail.com
Received: May 26, 2019  Accepted after revision: Jul 19, 2019
Abstract
Purpose:
Child development is a significant area for public health studies worldwide. Maternal Mental Health (MMH) could affect children’s communication skill development remarkably. We aimed to investigate association between MMH and communication skill in a sample of Iranian children.
Method:
This cohort study was conducted in Shiraz, Iran during August 2011 to December 2016. In doing so, 640 mothers who lived in Shiraz and registered in Fars Birth Cohort (FBC) study were invited to refer to the FBC clinic with their children. A trained physician evaluated maternal mental health (MMH) by using General Health Questionnaire (GHQ28). Also, a trained nurse assessed the children’s communication development status using Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) for 60-month old children.
Results:
The majority of the mothers were homemaker (82.8%), had diplomas (38.9%). The mothers’ mean age was 33.7 (±4.6) years. 79 (12.3%) children had delayed communication skills but no significant association was found between the communication skill and the mothers’ total GHQ score (p=0.43). 493 mothers (77.0%) had abnormal somatic symptoms, 497 (77.7%) had abnormal anxiety/insomnia, 337 (52.7%) had social dysfunction, and 232 (36.3%) suffered from depression. Logistic regression indicated that after adjusting for the confounders, the odds of delayed communication skills were three folds higher among the children of mothers with abnormal somatic symptoms compared to others (p=0.01).
Conclusions:
The study results confirmed that MMH was a significant factor in children’s communication skill. Moreover, maternal abnormal somatic symptoms exerted the strongest impact on development of the communication skill in the children aged five years.
Keywords: Maternal mental health; Communication skill; ASQ; Iran


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