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ERIC Number: EJ1109156
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Mothers' Depressive Symptoms and Children's Cognitive and Social Agency: Predicting First-Grade Cognitive Functioning
Yan, Ni; Dix, Theodore
Developmental Psychology, v52 n8 p1291-1298 Aug 2016
Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 1,364), the present study supports an agentic perspective; it demonstrates that mothers' depressive symptoms in infancy predict children's poor first-grade cognitive functioning because depressive symptoms predict children's low social and cognitive agency--low motivation to initiate social interaction and actively engage in activities. When mothers' depressive symptoms were high in infancy, children displayed poor first-grade cognitive functioning due to (a) tendencies to become socially withdrawn by 36 months and low in mastery motivation by 54 months, and (b) tendencies for children's low agency to predict declines in mothers' sensitivity and cognitive stimulation. Findings suggest that mothers' depressive symptoms undermine cognitive development through bidirectional processes centered on children's low motivation to engage in social interaction and initiate and persist at everyday tasks.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 1; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Bayley Scales of Infant Development; Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; Child Behavior Checklist; Social Skills Rating System; Woodcock Johnson Psycho Educational Battery
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A