Maternal depressive symptoms and parenting behavior: child behavior as an activator of maternal responsiveness
MetadataShow full item record
Maternal depression is an important correlate of parental competence and child outcomes. The relationships among maternal depression and both parent and child outcome variables have been empirically validated. However, the mechanisms through which depression exerts its influence on maternal responsiveness have received less scrutiny. 137 mother-toddler dyads from a non-clinical sample were observed during a 20-minute interaction. Results showed that low child emotional expressiveness and behavioral assertiveness both result from and contribute to the unsupportive parenting of mothers high in depressive symptoms. The presence of both child effects and parent effects implies a bidirectional system of mother-child influence in the regulation of supportive interactions.