Childhood Maltreatment and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Systematic Review.


Journal Article (Review)

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) compromise maternal and child well-being and may be influenced by traumatic experiences across the life course. A potent and common form of trauma is childhood maltreatment, but its specific impact on PMADs is not well understood. A systematic review was undertaken to synthesize empirical literature on the relationship between maternal histories of childhood maltreatment and PMADs. Of the 876 citations retrieved, 35 reports from a total of 26,239 participants met inclusion criteria, documenting substantial rates of childhood maltreatment and PMADs. Robust trends of association were observed between childhood maltreatment and perinatal depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder, but findings for anxiety were less consistent. Examining multivariate results suggested that childhood maltreatment predicts PMADs above and beyond sociodemographic, psychiatric, perinatal, and psychosocial factors, but may also be partially mediated by variables such as later victimization and moderated by protective early relationships. Future research should test mediating and moderating pathways using prospective cohorts, expanding to cross-cultural settings and other disorder outcomes. Treatment and prevention of childhood maltreatment and its sequelae may help mitigate risk for perinatal psychopathology and its impact on maternal and child outcomes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Choi, KW; Sikkema, KJ

Published Date

  • December 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 427 - 453

PubMed ID

  • 25985988

Pubmed Central ID

  • 25985988

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1552-8324

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1524-8380

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1524838015584369


  • eng