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  • USA: Effects of climate change could see increased rates of childhood anxiety and depression according to new study

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USA: Effects of climate change could see increased rates of childhood anxiety and depression according to new study

Source(s):  Theravive

By Patricia Tomasi

As we enter the most active part of hurricane season for 2018, a new study published in the Journal of Child Psychiatry and Human Development found that children born of mothers pregnant during 2012‘s Superstorm Sandy were negatively affected when it came to temperament which can impact whether they go on to develop anxiety and depression.


Following Superstorm Sandy, researchers asked mothers, some of whom were pregnant at the time, to tell them about their storm experience. Some questions were more objective (e.g., Did you lose power? Did you have property damage?) and others were more subjective (e.g., intrusive and distressing thoughts about the event). When the child was six months of age, the mother reported on the child’s temperament (e.g., Does the child smile or cry a lot? Does the child have trouble calming down after being upset?).

What Buthmann and her colleagues found was that objectively stressful storm experiences that mothers had were most closely associated with increased negative emotions and poor ability to control emotions among children at six months of age. Specifically, length of time without electricity and phone access and financial loss were associated with negative emotions. Threat of injury and financial loss were associated with limited ability to control emotions. Further, Buthmann told us she found that these aspects of emotion were more closely associated with experiencing the storm postnatally than prenatally.


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  • Publication date 04 Sep 2018

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