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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Risk (or resilience) in the offspring of depressed mothers: a longitudinal study Seminar

12:30 - 13:30
3 December 2015
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3031/3033

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

The offspring of depressed parents are a group at elevated risk for psychological disorder and other adverse outcomes; and investigation of this population provides an opportunity to study the factors that may predispose to disorder. This presentation will discuss findings from a 22-year longitudinal study of the offspring of postnatally depressed mothers, which presents a unique opportunity to examine developmental pathways to disorder. Individual risk factors will be considered, with a particular focus on neural and neurohormonal processes. In addition, the potential role of environmental influences will be examined, particularly considering perturbations in the quality of parenting that may arise in the context of maternal depression.

Speaker information

Dr Sarah Halligan, University of Bath. Dr Sarah Halligan is a Reader in Developmental Psychopathology. Her research examines factors that contribute to psychological disorder in children and adolescents, particularly considering social influences. Dr Halligan’s current research examines the potential role that parents may play in facilitating child adjustment following exposure to a traumatic event. This project builds on Dr Halligan’s previous work in identifying disturbances in cognition/appraisals, trauma memories, and biological stress response systems that contribute to the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Dr Halligan’s PTSD work reflects a broader interest in the processes via which social experiences may contribute to psychological disorder in young people. Using longitudinal designs, Dr Halligan studies psychological and biological pathways via which early experiences may contribute to risk for depressive disorder. She has similarly applied this longitudinal approach to studying processes that contribute to the emergence of externalising difficulties in young people, and also examines the role of parents and peers in influencing youth aggression.

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