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Maternal childhood abuse and neglect predicts offspring development in early childhood: the roles of reflective functioning and child sex

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Garon-Bissonnette, J. et Duguay, G. et Lemieux, R. et Dubois-Comtois, K. et Berthelot, N. (2021). Maternal childhood abuse and neglect predicts offspring development in early childhood: the roles of reflective functioning and child sex. Child Abuse and Neglect . ISSN 0145-2134 DOI 10.1016/j.chiabu.2021.105030

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Résumé

Background: Recent evidence suggests that offspring of mothers having been exposed to childhood abuse and neglect (CA&N) are at increased risk of developmental problems and that boys are more affected by maternal CA&N than girls. Since impairments in reflective functioning (RF) have been associated with maternal CA&N and offspring development, RF could represent a key mechanism in these intergenerational risk trajectories. Objective: This study evaluated mediating (RF) and moderating (child sex) mechanisms in the association between maternal CA&N and child development. Participants and setting: In a longitudinal setting, 111 mothers completed measures during pregnancy and between 11 and 36 months postpartum. Methods: CA&N and impairments in RF were assessed during pregnancy and offspring development was measured during the longitudinal follow-up using the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ-3). Child development was operationalized in two ways: using the global score at the ASQ-3 and using a dichotomous score of accumulation of delays across domains of development. Results: Structural equation modeling indicated that RF mediated the association between maternal CA&N and offspring development. Child sex moderated the association between CA&N and the clustering of developmental problems (Wald = 5.88, p = 0.02), with boys being particularly likely to accumulate developmental delays when their mother experienced CA&N (RR = 2.62). Accumulation of developmental problems was associated with impairments in maternal RF in girls and with maternal exposure to CA&N in boys. Conclusions: Results provide novel insights on the role of mentalization and child sex in the association between maternal CA&N and child development. © 2021 The Authors

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: child development child sex childhood trauma intergenerational trauma mentalization
Date de dépôt: 25 août 2021 13:08
Dernière modification: 25 août 2021 13:08
Version du document déposé: Version officielle de l'éditeur
URI: http://depot-e.uqtr.ca/id/eprint/9717

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