Moderately Dysphoric Mothers Behave More Positively with Their Infants after Completing the BDI

T. Raag, J. Malphurs, T. Field, M. Pelaez-Nogueras, A. Martinez, J. Pickens, D. Bendell, R. Yando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


To determine whether mildly and moderately dysphoric adolescent mothers display infantized facial and vocal behaviors, 21 nondysphoric mothers and 32 dysphoric (16 mildly and 16 moderately/severely dysphoric) mothers were videotaped during face-to-face interactions with their 4-month-old infants Mildly dysphoric mothers showed less positive facial expressions and less animated/exaggerated vocal expressions. The moderately/severely dysphoric mothers, however, did not differ from nondysphoric mothers in their display of facial and vocal behaviors. These mothers with higher Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores may have become concerned about their many symptoms affecting their interactions and tried to compensate for this during their interactions. A second study was conducted to determine whether completing the BDI before interactions positively affected the moderately/severely dysphoric mothers' behavior. Moderately/severely dysphoric mothers (N = 24) and mildly dysphoric mothers (N = 24) were given the Beck Depression Inventory either before or after their face-to-face interactions with their 4-month-old infants. Moderately/severely dysphoric mothers who were given the BDI before their interactions showed more positive behavior than mothers given the BDI after their interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-405
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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