Depressed mothers' newborns show longer habituation and fail to show face/voice preference

Maria Hernandez-Reif, Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Shay Largie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Twenty neonates of depressed and nondepressed mothers failed to show an initial visual preference for their mother's versus a female stranger's face/voice. Subsequently, infants were habituated to their mother's face and voice. Infants of depressed mothers required 1/3 more trials and almost twice as long to habituate. A posthabituation test with their mother and a different female stranger revealed a preference for the stranger's face for 9 out of the 10 newborns of the nondepressed mothers. Again, the infants of depressed mothers displayed no visual preference. These findings reveal differences in depressed mothers newborns' speed of habituation and face/voice preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-653
Number of pages11
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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