Examining pathways linking maternal depression to maternal sensitivity: role of maternal causal attributions

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pamela Linton Norcross (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Esther Leerkes

Abstract: The goal of this study was to examine the extent to which maternal depressive symptoms is linked with later maternal sensitivity through maternal causal attributions about infant crying. The present study utilized a multi-method approach for examining parenting and maternal behaviors. In addition, the extent to which these paths were moderated by socioeconomic risk was also examined. Maternal depressive symptoms were examined prenatally and when infants were 6 months old, and maternal sensitivity was observed when infants were 1 and 2 years of age. Mothers reported causal attributions (negative, minimizing, and situational) about infant crying when infants were 6 months of age. In the final model, no direct links was found between maternal depressive symptoms and later maternal sensitivity, however, a positively associated link was found between maternal depressive symptoms and negative causal attributions. No significant pathways were found with situational or minimizing attributions and depressive symptoms, as well as no interaction effects were found with SES risk as a moderator, however SES risk was significantly associated with maternal sensitivity. Results suggest that SES risk and maternal depressive symptoms while parenting leave infants at risk for receiving insensitive caregiving when they are in distress.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Causal attributions, Infant distress, Maternal depressive symptoms, Maternal sensitivity, Parenting, Postpartum depression
Mother and infant $x Psychological aspects
Depression in women
Sensitivity (Personality trait)
Distress in infants
Crying in infants

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