Infants of “depressed” mothers interact better with their nondepressed fathers

Ziarat Hossain, Tiffany M Field, Jeanette Gonzalez, Julie Malphurs, Claudia Del Valle, Jeffrey Pickens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


To determine whether infants of “depressed” mothers interact better with their nondepressed fathers, twenty‐six 3‐ to 6‐month‐old infants were videotaped during face‐to‐face interactions with their parents. The “depressed” mother group consisted of twelve 3‐ to 6‐month‐old infants and their “depressed” mothers and nondepressed fathers. The control group was composed of 14 nondepressed mothers and nondepressed fathers and their 3‐ to 6‐month‐old infants. in the “depressed” mother group, the nondepressed fathers received better interaction ratings than the “depressed” mothers. In turn, the infants received better interaction ratings when they interacted with their nondepressed fathers than with their “depressed” mothers. In contrast, nondepressed fathers and mothers and their infants in the control group did not differ on any of their interaction ratings. These findings suggest that infants' difficult interaction behaviors noted during interactions with their “depressed” mothers may not extend to their nondepressed fathers. The data are discussed with respect to the notion that nondepressed fathers may “buffer” the effects of maternal depression on infant interaction behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-357
Number of pages10
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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