ERIC Number: EJ824404
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
Connecting with Parents: Mothers' Depressive Symptoms and Responsive Behaviors in the Regulation of Social Contact by One- and Young Two-Year-Olds
Dix, Theodore; Cheng, Nina; Day, William H.
Social Development, v18 n1 p24-50 Feb 2009
When children act to involve mothers in positive interaction, they influence the amount, timing, and content of parent-child exchanges. By assessing children's smiling and positive initiation, we examined child behaviors that function to create positive interaction. In a non-clinical North American sample of 103 mothers and their 14- to 27-month-olds, we observed that children attempted to connect positively with mothers (1) more with age, (2) more frequently and quickly immediately after mothers were responsive, (3) more with mothers who were generally supportive, and (4) more with mothers low in depressive symptoms. When mothers were high in depressive symptoms, age-related increases in smiling and positive initiation were absent. Findings demonstrate the importance of maternal depression and responsiveness to child behaviors that involve mothers in ongoing activity. They suggest that both immediate cues and children's stored knowledge related to how mothers will respond may regulate children's positive connecting behaviors.
Descriptors: Cues, Mothers, Interaction, North Americans, Depression (Psychology), Young Children, Parent Child Relationship, Child Behavior, Affective Behavior, Prosocial Behavior, Social Development, Symptoms (Individual Disorders)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Authoring Institution: N/A