Study Examines Intimate Partner Violence, Maternal Depression



JAMA Pediatrics Study Highlights


Study Examines Intimate Partner Violence, Maternal Depression

Nerissa S. Bauer, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, examined the association between parent reports of intimate partner violence (IPV) and depressive symptoms within the first three years of a child’s life with later mental health conditions and psychotropic drug treatment (Online First).


The study at four pediatric clinics, where 2,422 children received care, linked parental IPV and depression with subsequent billing and pharmacy data between November 2004 and June 2012.


Children of parents reporting both IPV and depressive symptoms were more likely to have a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (adjusted odds ratio, 4.0) and children whose parents reported depressive symptoms were more likely to have been prescribed psychotropic medication (adjusted odds ratio, 1.9), according to the study results.


“Exposure to both IPV and depression before age 3 years is associated with preschool-aged onset of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; early exposure to parental depression is associated with being prescribed psychotropic medication. Pediatricians play a critical role in performing active, ongoing surveillance of families with these known social risk factors and providing early intervention to negate long-term sequelae,” the study concludes.

(JAMA Pediatr. Published online January 28, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.780. Available pre-embargo to the media at


Editor’s Note: This work was supported by grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and from the National Library of Medicine. Please see the articles for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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