The impact of maternal mental health on parenting quality and child outcomes in early head start
Kelley, Catherine E.
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Depression disproportionately impacts low-income women. Many of these women are mothers whose depression negatively affects their parenting quality and the wellbeing of their children. Using Ordinary Least Squares regression and the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation (EHSRE) Study, this paper estimates the effect of maternal depression on parenting quality and child outcomes and examines the ability of Early Head Start participation to reduce the negative impact of maternal depression on parenting and child outcomes. The findings support the hypotheses that maternal depression negatively impacts parenting quality and child outcomes and that participation in Early Head Start compensates for part of the negative effect of maternal depression on children. Furthermore, the findings show that maternal educational attainment has a bigger impact than Early Head Start in increasing parenting quality and child wellbeing, as measured by child success on cognitive, social, and emotional assessments. These findings support policy interventions aimed at providing various types of mental health services to low-income parents, increasing participation in Early Head Start, and promoting maternal educational attainment.
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