Maternal depression has consistently been shown to be a risk factor for mental-health problems in mothers' offspring. The disorders suffered by children tend to vary by age with anxiety and behaviour disorders developing before puberty, depression in early adolescence and substance-abuse disorders in late adolescence or early adulthood. However, until recently little has been known about the effect of treatment for depressed mothers on their offspring. A study of 151 mother-child pairs in the U.S. examined the children of depressed women at baseline and in periodic follow-ups over a year. It found that over the course of a year's treatment of their mother's decreases in the children's psychiatric symptoms were significantly associated with decreases in the severity of their mother's depression. The children improved regardless of how quickly the mothers responded to treatment but not if their mothers did not respond to treatment.
Piolowsky, Daniel J. ... [et al] - Children of depressed mothers 1 year after the initiation of maternal treatment: findings from the STAR*D-Child study American Journal of Psychiatry September 2008, 165(9), 1136-1147