Purpose: To test the efficacy of an interactive coaching intervention to promote responsiveness between mothers experiencing postpartum depressive symptoms (PPDS) and their infants. Design: An experimental design with 117 postpartum women in the Northeastern United States. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned either to the treatment or control group. Both groups had home visits at 4-8 weeks, 10-14 weeks, and 14-18 weeks postpartum and mother-infant interaction was videotaped and coded for responsiveness. The treatment group also received a coached behavioral intervention designed to promote maternal-infant responsiveness. Measures included the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Dyadic Mutuality Code. Findings: The hypothesis, that the treatment group would show significantly higher maternal-infant responsiveness after the intervention, was supported. No effect of the intervention on depression scores was found. A significant increase in responsiveness and a significant decrease in depression scores occurred over time for both treatment and control groups. No interaction between group and time was detected. Conclusions: The study showed that a coaching strategy had a positive effect on maternal-infant interaction in this sample. Future research is needed to test coaching interventions in conjunction with other strategies targeted to promote maternal-infant responsiveness and to reduce PPDS.
- Behavioral-interactive coaching
- Depressive symptoms
- Maternal-infant interaction
- Postpartum depression
ASJC Scopus subject areas