According to a study conducted by Erika Cheng, Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Caring for a child with a cognitive delay influences the maternal depressive symptoms. Cognitive delay and behavior problem is part of the growing social issue in the United States. Data were acquired from the national representative of Early Childhood Longitudinal Study. Cognitive delay emerges 25 months after childbirth and by the age of 4, the behavior of a child was assessed via the preschool and kindergarten behavior scales.
When the behavior of the child was accounted for, 26.9% of mothers of the children with cognitive delay reported high depressive symptoms compared to 17.4% of mothers of typically developing children. The results remained substantial when the behavior of the children was evaluated by their primary nonparental care providers.
Preventive actions alleviate detrimental outcomes are recommended for children with cognitive delay and their respective families should recognize the long-term effect of the child’s behavior to the mother.