South African Psychiatry Review - Volume 5, Issue 2, 2002
Volume 5, Issue 2, 2002
Primary maternal preoccupation revisited : circuits, genes, and the crucial role of early life experience : review articleSource: South African Psychiatry Review 5, pp 4 –12 (2002)More Less
Parental caregiving includes a set of highly conserved set of behaviors and mental states that may reflect both an individual's genetic endowment and the early experience of being cared for as a child. This review first examines the mental and behavioral elements of early parental caregiving in humans. Second, we consider what is known of the neurobiological substrates of maternal behaviors in mammalian species including some limited human data. Third, we briefly review the evidence that specific genes encode proteins that are crucial for the development of the neural substrates that underlie specific features of maternal behavior. Fourth, we review the literature on the "programming" role of epigenetic factors in shaping subsequent maternal behavior. We conclude that there are critical developmental windows during which the genetically determined microcircuitry of key limbic-hypothalamic-midbrain structures are susceptible to early environmental influences and that these influences powerfully shape an individual's responsivity to psychosocial stressors and their resiliency or vulnerability to various forms of human psychopathology later in life.
Author Vanessa McleanSource: South African Psychiatry Review 5, pp 13 –16 (2002)More Less
It is believed that depression will be the number one cause of disability worldwide in the year 2020, and stress will be a contributing factor. This is significant for South Africa which is considered to be one of the most highly stressed societies in the world with many social problems that contribute to stress and depression. One of the factors that research has indicated may lead to stress is work / home role conflict. This is often considered stressful for working mothers as they tend to carry a greater domestic burden. This study aimed to explore the levels of and interrelationships between stress, depression and work / home role conflict in a sample of 59 working mothers. Mediating factors such as coping skills and social support were also explored. The study found that for this sample work / home role conflict was not significant but that half of the sample reported features of depression. There was a positive correlation between stress and depression and negative correlations between coping, support, stress and depression.
Source: South African Psychiatry Review 5, pp 20 –22 (2002)More Less
The female preponderance in unipolar mood and anxiety disorders is well documented, with a double to triple lifetime prevalence compared to males. Much of this increased vulnerability is in the childbearing years. Hormones are a tempting explanation, although other biochemical factors such as cytokines may also be important. Psychosocial factors are clearly involved, including role issues.