Depressed mothers who are "good interaction" partners versus those who are withdrawn or intrusive

Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The interactions of 3-month-old infants and their depressed mothers were classified as intrusive, withdrawn or good interactions. Analyses of retrospective data suggested that all depressed groups scored higher on depression (CES-D) and anxiety (STAI) scales and had similarly elevated cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine during pregnancy. The depressed mothers and their newborns also had greater relative right frontal EEG activation. Despite these group similarities, the infants of the "good interaction" mothers did not show high amounts of indeterminate sleep and they received better scores on the Brazelton scale. The more organized behaviors of these newborns may have contributed to the better interaction ratings of the "good interaction" depressed mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-252
Number of pages15
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Depressed mothers
  • Good interactions
  • Interaction behavior
  • Intrusive mothers
  • Withdrawn mothers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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