Percentage of infants/toddlers whose mothers rate their mental health as worse than “excellent” or “very good”

Percentage of infants/toddlers whose mothers rate their mental health as worse than “excellent” or “very good”

The links between parental mental health—particularly depression—and child well-being are well established in research. The negative effects of maternal depression can begin prenatally. Parents who are depressed are less likely to engage in the kinds of reciprocal social interplay that is so important to the healthy development of infants and toddlers. Untreated depression in mothers or fathers is also associated with greater risk for delays in cognitive and motor development, child maltreatment, and neglectful parenting practices. Several intervention models are effective in treating parents’ depression.
This indicator summarizes the mental or emotional health status of the child’s biological, step, adoptive, or foster mother. The denominator is children ages 0-2 who live with their biological, step, adoptive, or foster mother. The numerator is the number of those children whose mothers rate their mental/emotional health status as “good,” “fair,” or “poor.” Estimates in the State of Babies Yearbook: 2022 are based on a four-year (2016-2019) combined sample of the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). These results are more reliable than the results presented in the 2021 report, which were based on three years of NSCH data (2016-2018), 2020 report, which were based on two years of NSCH data (2016-2017), or the 2019 report, which were based on 2016 data. They should be considered improved estimates, not new estimates, that can be compared directly to the 2021, 2020 or 2019 yearbook estimates.
This indicator can be disaggregated by race/ethnicity and household income. Race/ethnicity: The child’s race/ethnicity is reported by their caregiver, and the included subgroups are Hispanic of all races, non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and non-Hispanic Asian. The US Census Bureau recommends against using state or national population estimates for the following groups with the NSCH since these categories are not controlled independently: American Indian or Alaska Native, Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and some “other” and “two or more races” categories, so those estimates are not presented. In 2019, the “some other race” race category was removed from the questionnaire. Missing responses were imputed and categorized into existing race groups. Household income: NSCH derives household income-to-poverty ratios based on family income and household size. Missing values were imputed by the Census Bureau, and the single imputation version provided in the 2016-2019 data files is used. Households with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line are classified as low-income. Households with incomes at or above 200 percent of the federal poverty line are classified as “not low-income.”

Chester, A., Schmit, S., Alker, J., & Golden, O. (2016). Medicaid expansion promotes children’s development and family success by treating maternal depression. Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families. https://ccf.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Maternal-Depression-4.pdf
Oberlander, T. F., Papsdorf, M., Brain, U. M., Misri, S., Ross, C., & Grunau, R. E. (2010). Prenatal effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors antidepressants, serotonin transporter promoter genotype (SLC6A4), and maternal mood on child behavior at 3 years of age. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 164(5), 444-451. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.51 Petterson, S.M. & Albers, A.B. (2001). Effects of poverty and maternal depression on early child development. Child Development, 72(6), 1794-1813. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8624.00379
Administration for Children and Families. (2007). Depression among caregivers of young children reported for child maltreatment. National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being: Research Brief No. 13. https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/report/nscaw-no-13-depression-among-caregivers-young-children-reported-child-maltreatment
Chung, E. K., McCollum, K. F., Elo, I. T., & Culhane, J. F. (2004). Maternal depressive symptoms and infant health practices among low-income women. Pediatrics, 113(6), e523-e529. https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.113.6.e523
Goodman, S. H. & Garber, J. (2017). Evidence-based interventions for depressed mothers and their young children. Child Development, 88(2), 368-377. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12732

Sources:
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (2017). 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Stata Constructed Data Set. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). www.childhealthdata.org
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (2018). 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Stata Constructed Data Set. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). www.childhealthdata.org
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (2019). 2018 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Stata Constructed Data Set. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). www.childhealthdata.org
Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. (2020). 2019 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) Stata Constructed Data Set. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by Cooperative Agreement U59MC27866 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). www.childhealthdata.org

Not Ranked
This indicator does not factor into the category's GROW ranking.