The role of parental depression and competitive coparenting on the development of insecure attachment and early-childhood depression




Velasquez, Luis Miguel

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Depression affects approximately 1-3% of children (Angold & Costello, 2001). Depressed children often have social problems, a higher risk for judicial problems, more negative life-events, and somatic symptoms (Birmaher et al., 2007). Although a great deal of research has focused on the mother’s role in predicting their child’s depression, there exists a dearth of research examining the father’s role in predicting child depression. This proposed research study aims to elucidate the link between parental depression and competitive coparenting behaviors as predictors for early childhood insecure attachment and early childhood depression. First, mother and father depressive ratings will be assessed before the child is born (prenatal). At 12/15 months, the Strange Situation will be administered to assess the child’s attachment pattern. At 24 months, the triadic interaction (mother, father, and child) will be assessed with a focus on individual and dyadic competitive coparenting behaviors. Finally, at age seven the child’s depressive symptomatology will be reported by both parents. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) is proposed to be used for the analyses.


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