Infants of depressed mothers show "depressed" behavior even with nondepressed adults.

T. Field, B. Healy, S. Goldstein, S. Perry, D. Bendell, S. Schanberg, E. A. Zimmerman, C. Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

417 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine whether the "depressed" behavior (e.g., less positive affect and lower activity level) of infants noted during interactions with their "depressed" mothers generalizes to their interactions with nondepressed adults, 74 3-6-month-old infants of "depressed" and nondepressed mothers were videotaped in face-to-face interactions with their mothers and with nondepressed female strangers. "Depressed" mothers and their infants received lower ratings on all behaviors than nondepressed mothers and infants. Although the infants of "depressed" versus nondepressed mothers also received lower ratings with the stranger adult, very few differences were noted between those infants' ratings when interacting with their mother versus the stranger, suggesting that their "depressed" style of interacting is not specific to their interactions with depressed mothers but generalizes to their interactions with nondepressed adults as early as 3 months of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1569-1579
Number of pages11
JournalChild development
Volume59
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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    Field, T., Healy, B., Goldstein, S., Perry, S., Bendell, D., Schanberg, S., Zimmerman, E. A., & Kuhn, C. (1988). Infants of depressed mothers show "depressed" behavior even with nondepressed adults. Child development, 59(6), 1569-1579.