An Overview of Teenage Maternal Anxiety

Tim Dupell
3 min readApr 20


Children’s brain development has been linked to the impacts of prenatal and postpartum anxiety12,13,16,46. This investigation looked at the functional connectivity and amygdala volume in children and if prenatal and postnatal maternal worry had an impact.

The infant amygdala volumes were first determined, and maps of functional connectivity between the amygdala and the rest of the brain were made. By adjusting for child age, sex, gestational age at birth, birth weight, family income, prenatal maternal anxiety, and postpartum depressive symptoms, we used Spearman correlations to examine relationships.

Although anxiety is frequently a normal component of childhood and adolescence, it can be challenging to identify children who have chronic anxiety. They can refuse to do their homework, act frightened or apprehensive, cling to their parents or teachers, or exhibit physical symptoms like trembling, sweating, or shaking.

Children and teenagers with anxiety symptoms may struggle socially and find it more difficult to get along with others. Additionally, individuals might have trouble sleeping or getting adequate rest, in addition to experiencing bodily issues like stomachaches.

Researchers from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) discovered in a recent study that children who experienced anxiety symptoms when their mother was pregnant and in infancy were more likely to exhibit hyperactivity when they were 16 years old. The findings were presented in Copenhagen, Denmark, at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Congress.

Perinatal anxiety has been linked in numerous studies to less favourable social-emotional, cognitive, linguistic, motor, and adaptive behaviour development in children. Furthermore, similar findings apply to middle childhood and adolescence as well as to infancy and early childhood59.

However, it is unknown what specific consequences prenatal anxiety has on a child’s brain development. In the Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) study, 54 infants who had fMRI imaging throughout the first few years of life were evaluated for structural changes in the brain.

The functional connectivity between the left and right inferior parietal lobes as well as the fractional anisotropy in a number of regions, were shown to be diminished in children born to moms who experience high levels of prenatal anxiety. These results imply that maternal anxiety during pregnancy may have an adverse effect on a child’s shyness and internalizing behaviours, such as social phobia, later in life.

Mother’s discomfort, dysfunctional family dynamics, and behavioural and emotional issues in children are all correlated with maternal anxiety and depression. Children of mothers who struggle with anxiety or depression are more likely to experience these problems themselves and may struggle with their development throughout childhood and into adolescence.

Research on how maternal mental health affects children’s development and mental health, particularly throughout adolescence, is becoming more and more important. There aren’t many studies that look at the longer-term effects on children’s emotional, social, and cognitive development, despite the fact that much of the research on prenatal anxiety and depression has concentrated on early life outcomes for children.

Encouragement to participate in activities that foster healthy social skills is one of the many successful preventative strategies for teen moms. This can be accomplished by introducing them to volunteer opportunities in their community about which they are passionate or by getting them involved with a group of young people who have similar interests.

Another efficient strategy for reducing anxiety is to assist people in spending less time on screens, such as their phones and social media, and in finding their “happy place.” Spending time in nature, travelling to a peaceful, relaxing location, or thinking back on a nice memory are all effective ways to achieve this.

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that prenatal anxiety influences adverse newborn outcomes, such as delayed motor and cognitive maturation and attentional problems by the age of two. Additionally, it contributes to the emergence of socio-emotional issues and temperament issues in kids [46]. This shows that addressing maternal mental health issues as a significant public health concern is necessary.



Tim Dupell

Tim Dupell has devoted his professional life to providing mental health professionals with the benefit of his knowledge, connections, and enthusiasm.