The relations among maternal depressive disorder, maternal expressed emotion, and toddler behavior problems and attachment

Julie A. Gravener, Fred A. Rogosch, Assaf Oshri, Angela J. Narayan, Dante Cicchetti, Sheree L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Direct and indirect relations among maternal depression, maternal Expressed Emotion (EE: Self- and Child-Criticism), child internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and child attachment were examined. Participants were mothers with depression (n=130) and comparison mothers (n=68) and their toddlers (M age=20 mo.; 53% male). Assessments included the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (maternal depression); the Five Minute Speech Sample (EE); the Child Behavior Checklist (toddler behavior problems); the Strange Situation (child attachment). Direct relations were significant linking: 1) maternal depression with both EE and child functioning; 2) Child-Criticism with child internalizing and externalizing symptoms; 3) Self-Criticism with child attachment. Significant indirect relations were found linking maternal depression with: 1) child externalizing behaviors via Child-Criticism; 2) child internalizing behaviors via Self- and Child-Criticism; and 3) child attachment via Self-Criticism. Findings are consistent with a conceptual model in which maternal EE mediates relations between maternal depression and toddler socio-emotional functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)803-813
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Attachment
  • Criticism
  • Expressed emotion
  • Externalizing behaviors
  • Internalizing behaviors
  • Maternal depression

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