Examining parenting pathways linking maternal depressive symptoms to children’s internalizing and externalizing behavior problems

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 present study utilized a multi-method approach for examining psychopathology trajectories for infants. The extent to which maternal depressive symptoms over the first year of life is linked with internalizing and externalizing behaviors in childhood through insensitive maternal behaviors (unresponsive and overtly negative parenting behaviors) was examined. In addition, the expanse to which these paths were moderated by infant temperament (high negative emotionality) was also examined. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed prenatally and when infants were 6 months old. Maternal parenting behaviors (unresponsive and overtly negative behaviors) were observed at 6 months of age, and infant temperament (negative emotionality) was measured through observation and mother report when infants were 6 months old. Mothers reported on infant’s behavior problems (internalizing and externalizing behaviors) when infants were 2 years old. A direct path was significant between maternal depressive symptoms and internalizing behaviors, but was not explained by maternal parenting behaviors. A direct link from infant temperament and both insensitive maternal behaviors were found to be significant, but no indirect effects were found in the path model. Results suggest that maternal depressive symptoms while parenting leave infants at risk for later psychopathology.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Externalizing symptoms, Infant development, Insensitive maternal behaviors, Internalizing symptoms, Maternal depressive symptoms, Temperament
Children of depressed persons $x Mental health
Mother and child $x Psychological aspects
Temperament in infants
Infants $x Development

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