ERIC Number: ED336689
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Depressed Mothers' Expressed Emotion and Their Children's Self-Esteem and Mood Disorders.
Goodman, Sherryl; Riniti, Joanne
Expressed emotion in a mother's communications about her child may reflect both direct and subtle ways in which she transmits aspects of her depressive affective and cognitive style to her children. This study considered whether: (1) depressed mothers are more likely than well mothers to express negative emotional statements in descriptions of their children; (2) mothers' negative emotion statements are associated with children's mood disorders; (3) mothers' negative emotional statements are associated with children's' self-esteem; and (4) children's self-esteem is associated with their mood disorders. Two groups of families were studied, 20 families with depressed mothers and 19 families with well mothers, each with a target child between 8 and 10 years old. Mothers were asked to describe their child. Children's self-esteem was measured with Harter's Self-Perceived Competence Scale, and children's diagnosis were determined with the Kiddie-SADS, a semi-structured diagnostic interview of both the mother and child. Depressed mothers made significantly more negative emotional statements overall, and specifically, more hostile or critical comments about their child, and more self-blaming comments. Depressed children had mothers who expressed significantly fewer positive statements, and showed a trend toward using more negative and critical statements. Mothers who made more critical or hostile statements had children with lower perceived physical appearance and behavioral conduct competence, and mothers who made more "negative other" statements had children with lower perceived scholastic achievement and athletic competence. Attached are 4 data tables and 12 figures. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-21, 1991).