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The Power of Love: Why maternal depression is an economic mobility issue

9th February 2019

An article from Brookings an American social web site shows many of the issues we are facing right here.

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.

The Article
Rates of upward economic mobility in the U.S. are too low: on this there is little disagreement from any political quarter. Children from families with fewer resources are at a high risk of poverty in adult life. These resources are usually viewed through an economic lens, most obviously in terms of income and wealth.
But relationships are resources, too. At a community level, relationships are the building blocks for networks, connections, and trust, loosely described as social capital. Within families, strong and positive relationships create an environment within which children and adolescents can develop skills, confidence, and aspirations.

Relationships, attachment, and depression
For a very young child, the relationship with a primary caregiver, most often though not exclusively a mother, lays an important psychological foundation for later flourishing. Successful attachment and bonding in the first two years of life predicts healthy later development on a range of fronts, from mental health to educational skills. When bonding and attachment prove difficult, child development is affected. Recent advances in brain science allow this impact to be shown more clearly and more definitively.

One of the biggest risk factors for successful bonding and attachment is poor mental health on the part of the primary caregiver. In particular, a parent who is depressed finds it more difficult to engage, connect, and bond with a baby or toddler. Given that mothers remain most likely to be the primary caregiver, maternal depression can therefore be an important risk factor for early child development. About 10 to 20 percent of mothers will be depressed at some time during their lives, and one in eleven infants will experience their mothers' perinatal depression.[i] Mothers who are poor are more likely to suffer from depression.

Read the full article at

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