College of Health Professions

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-04 15:08:27



Honors Course

Nursing Research

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2021


The increased incidence of postpartum depression has had significant effects on children’s social development. The purpose of this systematic review is to bring attention to the growing problem in such a vulnerable population. In addition, it was designed to shed light on the lack of research in this area of healthcare. The methods used to conduct the study include various peer reviewed, scholarly and evidenced based articles from databases such as Academic Search Complete, PsycNet, and Pubmed. Each article has been critically evaluated based on the following guidelines: a population group of children under the age of four, specifically maternal postpartum depression rather than paternal, and studies focused on childhood social development.

The general consensus of the twenty articles conclude that maternal postpartum depression disrupts the social development of children. Specifically, decreased levels of attachment have been a common trend along with a developmental delay of communication. Based on the evidence collected during the systematic review future evidence-based practice should involve more rigorous screening of the mother child dyad in relation to promotion of mental health. How are children internationally, from birth to four years old, impacted by postpartum depression in relation to social development?

Keywords: postpartum depression, development, social development, cognitive development, pediatrics, mental health, infant

Research Sponsor

Debra Horning MSN, RNC-OB

First Reader

Lisa A. Hart, DNP, RN, CNE

Second Reader

Michele Zelko, DNP, RNC-OB

Honors Faculty Advisor

Christine Heifner Graor, PhD, PMHCNS-BC

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