Infants of depressed mothers facing a mirror versus their mother

Tiffany Field, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Yanexy Vera, Karla Gil, Miguel Diego, Christopher Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Behavioral responses were assessed in 3-6-month-old infants of depressed mothers placed face-to-face in front of a mirror versus in front of their mother. Infants showed more positive behavior (smiling) with their mothers versus the mirror but also showed more negative behavior (gaze aversion, distress brow and crying) during the mother condition. These differences highlight the infants' greater affective responses (both positive and negative) to their mother versus the mirror. Equivalent amounts of vocalizing to the mother and mirror suggested that the mirror does elicit social behavior, with the infants perhaps enjoying watching themselves talk. Group differences suggested that the infants of depressed mothers showed less gaze aversion with their mothers, perhaps because their mothers were less interactive. When in front of the mirror, they vocalized more and gaze averted less than the infants of nondepressed mothers, suggesting that the mirror was particularly effective in eliciting vocalizations in infants of depressed mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Depressed mothers
  • Infants
  • Mirror

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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