Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Julie Dumas


neuroscience, antidepressants, pregnancy, perinatal, mood disorders, depression


Because of a lack of consistent research, antidepressant usage during pregnancy is a confusing subject for consumers. Results from some studies imply that antidepressant usage during pregnancy for the treatment of depression and other mood disorders can have negative effects on a child. Conflicting evidence indicates that the negative effects potentially caused by antidepressants are not as intense as the effects of untreated depression during pregnancy. Current research on antidepressant usage during pregnancy only examines general health measures in infants and toddlers and does not examine effects on older children who are able to be assessed for potential cognitive and mood influences of perinatal antidepressants. This study investigated the effects of maternal antidepressant usage on psychological development in children at 9-10 years of age and 11-12 years of age. The data showed that perinatal medication usage did not affect children’s mental health in early adolescence. The use of antidepressants during pregnancy is potentially safe for the fetus, the childbearing parent, and the child during early adolescence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.