Serious depression in parents and caregivers can affect the children in their care. When children grow up in an environment of mental illness, the development of their brains may be seriously weakened, with implications for their ability to learn as well as for their own later physical and mental health. This working paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs examines why addressing the consequences of depression could support the future prosperity and well-being of both children and society as a whole.
Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2009). Maternal Depression Can Undermine the Development of Young Children: Working Paper No. 8. www.developingchild.harvard.edu.