Transactional Patterns of Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Mother-Child Mutual Negativity in an Adoption Sample

Caroline K.P. Roben, Ginger A. Moore, Pamela M. Cole, Peter Molenaar, Leslie D. Leve, Daniel S. Shaw, David Reiss, Jenae M. Neiderhiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Transactional models of analysis can examine both moment-to-moment interactions within a dyad and dyadic patterns of influence across time. This study used data from a prospective adoption study to test a transactional model of parental depressive symptoms and mutual negativity between mother and child over time, utilizing contingency analysis of second-by-second behavioral data. To consider both genetic and environmental influences on mutual negativity, depressive symptoms were examined in both adoptive and birth mothers. Adoptive mother depressive symptoms at 9months increased the likelihood that, at 18months, children reacted negatively to their mothers' negative behavior, which in turn predicted higher levels of adoptive mother depressive symptoms at 27months, suggesting that over time, mothers' depressive symptoms influence and are influenced by moment-to-moment mutual negativity with their toddlers. Birth mother depressive symptoms moderated the association between mutual negativity at 18months and adoptive mother depressive symptoms at 27months, suggesting a child-driven contribution to maternal depressive symptoms that can be measured by a genetic sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-342
Number of pages21
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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