The relation amongst maternal depressive symptoms, infant coping strategies and infant negative emotional reactivity

by Ashley (Author) Steinhauer

Institution: Ryerson University
Year: 2009
Keywords: Mother and infant; Psychological aspects; Postpartum depression; Emotions in infants; Infants; Mental health
Record ID: 1854431
Full text PDF: http://digital.library.ryerson.ca/islandora/object/RULA%3A862


Mothers' who experience depressive symptoms influence their infants' expression of emotional reactivity; however the mechanisms of this link are unknown. The principal aim of this thesis is to assess if infant coping strategies moderate the relation between maternal depressive symptoms and infant emotional reactivity. Home visits were conducted with 126 mother-infant dyads from the community. The BDI-II was used to measure maternal depressive symptoms. Each dyad participated in a frustrating task and infant coping strategies and emotional reactivity were coded throughout this task. Results indicated that infants with mothers who reported higher levels of depressive symptoms expressed less negative emotional reactivity than infants with mothers who reported lower levels of depressive symptoms, if they employed more independent then dependent regulatory behaviours. This thesis highlights many conceptual, design, and psychometric problems present in the emotion regulation literature (Study 1), and is the first study to examine the proposed moderation model (Study 2).