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ERIC Number: EJ1165332
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jan
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Mother-Child Interactions, and Children's Executive Function
Gueron-Sela, Noa; Camerota, Marie; Willoughby, Michael T.; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Cox, Martha J.
Developmental Psychology, v54 n1 71-82 Jan 2018
This study examined the independent and mediated associations between maternal depression symptoms (MDS), mother-child interaction, and child executive function (EF) in a prospective longitudinal sample of 1,037 children (50% boys) from predominantly low-income and rural communities. When children were 6, 15 and 24 months of age, mothers reported their level of depressive symptomatology. At 24 and 36 months of age, mother-child interactions during play were rated for warmth-sensitivity and harsh-intrusiveness, and dyadic joint attention and maternal language complexity were assessed from a book sharing activity. Children's EF (i.e., inhibitory control, working memory, and set shifting) were assessed at ages 36 and 48 months using a battery of six tasks. Results indicated that MDS at ages 15 and 24 months were negatively associated with children's EF at age 48 months. Additionally, harsh-intrusive mother-child interactions partially mediated this link. Although warmth-sensitivity, dyadic joint attention and maternal language complexity were all longitudinally related to EF, they did not serve as mediating mechanisms between MDS and EF. These results were obtained while controlling for multiple demographic factors, children's earlier cognitive abilities, maternal general distress and childcare experiences. Findings from this study identify 1 mechanism through which early exposure to MDS could be related to children's EF.
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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH); National Institute on Drug Abuse (DHHS/PHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina; Pennsylvania
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Brief Symptom Inventory; Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; Stroop Color Word Test
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01HD51502; P01HD39667