Forty infants (mean age 5 months) of depressed mothers and non-depressed mothers were seated in an infant seat and were exposed to four different degrees of animation, including a still-face Raggedy Ann doll (about two-feet tall suspended in front of the infant), the same doll in an animated state talking and head-nodding, an imitative mother and a spontaneously interacting mother (the more animate mother condition). The infants spent more time looking at the doll, but they smiled and laughed more at the mother. The infants of depressed versus non-depressed mothers showed less laughing and more fussing when their mothers were spontaneously interacting, but showed more laughing and less fussing during the mother imitation condition. Paradoxically, the infants of non-depressed mothers were negatively affected by the imitation condition, showing less smiling and laughing and more fussing than they had during the spontaneous interactions.
- Depressed mothers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Social Psychology