Prenatal dysthymia versus major depression effects on the neonate

Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Depressed pregnant women were classified as dysthymic or major depression disorder based on the Structured Clinical Interview for Depression and followed to the newborn period. The newborns of dysthymic versus major depression disorder mothers had a significantly shorter gestational age, a lower birthweight, shorter birth length and less optimal obstetric complications scores. The neonates of dysthymic mothers also had lower orientation and motor scores and more depressive symptoms on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale. These findings were not surprising given the elevated cortisol levels and the inferior fetal measures including lower fetal weight, fetal length, femur length and abdominal circumference noted in our earlier study on fetuses of dysthymic pregnant women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Prenatal dysthymia
  • Prenatal major depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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