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Psychiatry Journal
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 3809384, 6 pages
Research Article

Psychological Problems and Socioemotional Wellbeing among Children of Mothers with Depression and Their Association with Sociodemographic Factors in a Sri Lankan Setting

1Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
2Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
3Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka

Correspondence should be addressed to Yasodha Maheshi Rohanachandra;

Received 30 November 2017; Revised 25 February 2018; Accepted 12 March 2018; Published 16 April 2018

Academic Editor: Gerd Wagner

Copyright © 2018 Yasodha Maheshi Rohanachandra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Maternal depression is known to be associated with anxiety, depression, oppositional and conduct disorders, neurocognitive deficits, ADHD, substance abuse, and personality disorder in the offspring. We aimed to describe the proportion of psychological problems among children of mothers with depression in Sri Lanka and to describe the associated sociodemographic factors. Methods. A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on 100 children and adolescents between 4 and 16 years, whose mothers have a diagnosis of depression and are currently in remission. Specifically designed instruments were used to extract sociodemographic details and data on mother’s illness. Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used to detect psychological problems in children. Results. 14% of the children scored abnormally high in hyperactivity, 13% in conduct problems, 12% in emotional problems, 9% in peer problems, and 10% in total difficulties. Children (4–12 years) scored significantly higher than the adolescents in hyperactivity and externalizing problems (). Significant differences were also found in peer problems (), internalizing problems (), and total difficulties () in relation to the age of the mother. Conclusion. Screening the children of mothers with depression for psychological problems and developing a holistic management plan, which includes measures to ensure their wellbeing, is important.