Vagal tone in infants of depressed mothers

Tiffany M Field, Jeffrey Pickens, Nathan A. Fox, Thomas Nawrocki, Jeanette Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Emotional reactivity and expressivity in infants have been previously correlated with vagal tone. This study investigated vagal tone of 3- and 6-month-old infants of depressed mothers. Vagal tone did not differ for infants of depressed versus nondepressed mothers at 3 months, but lower vagal tone was noted in infants of depressed versus nondepressed mothers at 6 months. The developmental increase in vagal tone that occurred between 3 and 6 months for infants of nondepressed mothers did not occur for infants of depressed mothers. Correlation analyses suggested that higher vagal tone at 6 months was related to more vocalizations and more optimal neurological scores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopment and Psychopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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