Depressed Fathers' Stereotyping of Infants Labeled "Depressed"

Sybil Hart, Tiffany Field, Marilyn Stern, Nancy Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study investigated whether depressed and nondepressed fathers stereotyped infants labeled "depressed" and how they viewed their own infants. Twenty- five fathers (12 nondepressed, 13 depressed) of 4-month old infants rated their infants' psychological, social and physical attributes on the Infant Stereotyping Scale (ISS). They then rated videotaped infants, labeled "normal" or "depressed", on the ISS. Fathers rated depressed versus normal infants lower on sociability, social behavior, and cognitive competence. Depressed versus nondepressed fathers, rated depressed infants lower on social behavior, potency, and sociability. Depressed fathers rated their own infants lower on social behavior, potency, and cognitive competence as well as being more vulnerable. Implications of parental depression on stereotyping effects and possible risks for infants are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-445
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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