Caregivers' depressive symptoms and parent- report of child executive function among young children in Uganda. Learn Individ Differ.

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Maternal mental health (particularly depression) may influence how child behavior report. Few research has focused on sub-Saharan countries where pediatric HIV concentrates and impacts child neuropsychological development and caregiver mental health. We investigated the associations between caregivers' depressive symptoms and neuropsychological outcomes in HIV-infected (n = 118) and HIV-exposed (n = 164) Ugandan children aged 2–5 years. We compared performance-based tests of development (Mullen Scales of Early Learning, Color Object Association Test), to a caregiver report of executive function (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, BRIEF). Caregivers were assessed with Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 depression subscale. The associations between all BRIEF indices and caregiver's depression symptoms were differential according to child's HIV status. Caregivers with greater depressive symptoms reported their HIV-infected children as having more behavioral problems related to executive functioning. The assessment of behavior of HIV-infected children should incorporate a variety of sources of information and screening of caregiver mental health.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Learning and individual differences


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.