Weight perception by newborns of depressed versus non-depressed mothers

Maria Hernandez-Reif, Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Shay Largie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


A light-weight (2 gms) or heavier-weight (8 gms) object (vial of cotton or pellets, respectively) was placed in the right hand of 50 full-term infants (M age = 43 hr old) born to depressed (n = 27) or nondepressed mothers (Mothers' M age = 27 yrs old). After the infants habituated to one weight by hand, they were tested with the opposite weight object. The infants of the depressed mothers did not respond to the novel weight, and only 15% of those infants showed hand movements that might have facilitated their perception of the object's weight (e.g., hand-to-mouth or face, turning/moving of the wrist or hand). In contrast, 78% of the infants of nondepressed mothers showed hand activity that might have facilitated weight perception, and as a group, they held the novel weight longer, suggesting that they had perceived the weight change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-316
Number of pages12
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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