Maternal depressive symptoms during the postnatal period have been shown to be detrimental to the socio-emotional, cognitive, and motor development of infants. Studies indicate that one of the mediators of these detrimental effects is decreased maternal responsiveness, a maternal characteristic that may hinder infant emotion-regulation development and infant secure attachment. Although previous research has shown the impact of infant cries on the behavior and physiology of mothers with elevated depressive symptoms in laboratory-based contexts, little is known about the quality and timing of maternal responsive behaviors to infant negative affect in mothers with elevated or non-elevated depressive symptoms in the naturalistic environment. The general aim of this study was to evaluate the contingencies between infant distress displays and maternal responsive behaviors during home observations of mothers with elevated and non-elevated depressive symptoms and their 3-month-old infants. Specifically, the goal was to analyze differences in the quality and timing of maternal response to infant distress among mothers with high depressive symptoms compared to mothers with low depressive symptoms during observations of mothers and their infants at home. To evaluate maternal responsiveness, a variety of maternal behaviors were coded from 30-minute videotapes of home interactions in 83 low-risk Caucasian mother-infant dyads. Maternal behavioral responses, non-responsiveness, latency of response, and number of responses per episode of infant distress did not differ significantly between the no or low depression symptom groups and the high symptom group. After controlling for maternal and infant individual differences, CES-D scores did not predict maternal responsive behaviors. Maternal responsiveness rates and infant affectivity levels were congruent with those found in previous studies of mothers with non-elevated depressive symptoms. The small differences found between CES-D groups in this sample may suggest that maternal depressive symptoms, without other comorbid or environmental risk factors, may not impact the way in which mothers respond to infant distress at 3-months.
|Commitee:||Carter, Alice, Olson, Karen|
|School:||University of Massachusetts Boston|
|Department:||Clinical Psychology (MA)|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||MAI 51/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Contingency analyses, Depression, Infant distress, Infant negative affect, Maternal depressive symptoms, Maternal responsiveness, Mothers, Naturalistic observations|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be