Identifying COVID-related mental health problems and resiliency in youth to inform intervention policy from pre-pandemic levels of maternal environmental adversity and mood: The Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Study

Wazana, Ashley | $500,000

Quebec Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research 2022 CIHR Operating Grant

Research demonstrates that environmental adversity (stressful life events, poor housing, financial problems, domestic violence, substance abuse, single parents) and poor maternal mood are associated with increased levels of mental health problems in both mothers and their children. However, not all mothers and children exposed to these risk factors exhibit poor mental health. Research also suggests that major environmental crises (e.g., COVID or large-scale disasters) differentially impact individuals based on pre-crisis factors such as socio-economic disadvantage, family discord, and mental health status. The objective of the present study is to identify resilient and at-risk families (mothers and/or children), using measures of maternal environmental adversity and mood, so that intervention policies that target appropriate families and/or individuals during times of large-scale crises can be established. This objective will be meet using the Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment Study: a genetic and sex informative longitudinal cohort with maternal and child data, including repeated socio-environmental and mental health measures, available from pregnancy to late adolescence. The proposed study will collect new COVID-related maternal and child (e.g., resiliency/flourishing, psychopathology, SES, social support, family functioning, and COVID-specific hardship and distress) data. Statistical analyses will assess whether current mental health functioning can be identified based on pre-pandemic factors, particularly environmental adversity and perinatal mood. In conjunction with our Knowledge Users committee, these findings will be used to develop policy for the rapid identification of families at-risk for mental health problems following a major environmental crisis and the establishment of effective interventions based on type of metal health problem, individual (mother and/or child), and family resources.

With funding from the Government of Canada

Please complete this short survey to help us understand our impact. Thank you!

Give Feedback