ERIC Number: ED354465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Dec-11
The Impact of Maternal Depression on the Infant: Implications for Object Relations Development and Subsequent Clinical Sequelae.
Francis, Barbara Joanne
In this paper the impact of maternal depression on infant behavior is evaluated through a review of current research. The following topics are discussed: (1) types of maternal depression; (2) impact of maternal depression on infant behavior; (3) attachment behaviors of infants with depressed mothers; and (4) the older child of a depressed mother, including toddler, preschool, school-aged, and adolescent children. Following this, comments and integration of research findings are briefly given, and a final section provides a detailed look at theoretical considerations. In this section, several variables relevant to depression are examined, particularly that of the mother's psychological health; a presentation of the healthier "depressed" mother and the more disturbed "depleted" mother offers a perspective based on the concepts of Melanie Klein. An integration of research and theory is then introduced using the analytic formulations of D. W. Winnicott, examining the sequelae of parenting by a depressed mother who may be inadequate, or not "good enough." Overall, it is found that research on the effect of maternal depression on infant behaviors presents a consistent portrayal of a mother who lacks the ability to appropriately respond to her infant. The review concludes with the hope that answers to questions about the effect of maternal depression on infant emotional development will be found through further research and clinical inquiry which will provide a deeper understanding of the enduring impact of certain maternal depressions on infants. (Contains 69 references.) (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Psy.D. Research Paper, Biola University.