Less exploring by mouth occurs in newborns of depressed mothers

Maria Hernandez-Reif, Tiffany Field, Natasha Del Pino, Miguel Diego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Twenty-four newborns (M age = 12 days) of depressed and nondepressed mothers were assessed for oral perception of a nubby and smooth texture. Both groups of newborns discriminated between these textures and showed a sucking preference for the smooth texture. However, the newborns of depressed mothers spent 50% less time orally exploring the stimuli, one-third less time exploring the more novel nubby texture, and 59% less time mouthing the smooth texture. Newborns of depressed mothers may have biological differences that affect their emotional arousal and emotional regulation (e.g., capacity for self-soothing).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-210
Number of pages7
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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