Degree Name

Master of Health Administration (MHA)

Document Type



School of Business


Health Care Administration


Background: Prenatal methamphetamine exposure and postnatal depression have significant impacts on child health outcomes and parenting skills. Postnatal depression increases health risks of the mother, that impacts herself and her child. Prenatal exposure to methamphetamine and postnatal depression may influence problematic behaviors in the child. Methods: The data analyzed was from a longitudinal research study that consisted of four sites within the United States. Four hundred twelve mother-children pairs were enrolled in the study. At the 7.5-year follow-up, 290 children with complete data were available for analysis. Measures included the Child Behavior Checklist, the Woodcock Johnson, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. Results: Mothers of methamphetamine exposed children, with diagnosed postnatal depression, had children with increased problematic behaviors and lower academic achievement. They were more likely to exhibit externalizing and internalizing behaviors and had decreased scores for reading fluency and passage comprehension. Conclusion: Thorough and increased qualitative interventional and support services are critical in the development of the child and the mother-child relationship. Such services may reduce maternal depression and lead to improved child behavior and academic achievement.