Their Role in Early Developmental Risk
Yiji Wang and Theodore Dix
PSYC 21013-06: Human Growth and Development
April 7, 2014
Maternal depression has been associated with a wide range of problems in children that will effect its social, emotional, temperamental, and cognitive functioning in childhood that may continue into adolescence and extend to further issues. Often referred to as Postpartum Depression, these characteristics displayed by the mother discontinue her abilities to support and nurture the child while directing and aiding the developmental process.
Purpose and Hypothesis
The purpose of this article is to examine four questions. Does typical parenting style differentiate depressive and non-depressive mothers? Why do mothers develop one of the four patterns of depressive parenting? Do the patterns even matter and predict the child’s outcome? Does the competence of the mother differ between patterns? The hypotheses drawn are that the mothers’ patterns of depressive symptoms differ between toddlers and infants, these patterns demonstrate risk to society, certain of the patterns aren’t as negative as others, and even if the depressed mothers are somewhat decent parents, the child’s development is still less than that of a child raised by a mother lacking depressive qualities.
The authors used the NICHD Study of Early Child Care as the overall study. The participants of the study were taken from hospitals in ten cities in the United States, excluded if there were any defects or complications present, above the age of eighteen, mostly white, with some education, in healthy relationships, substantial income, and English speaking. The study was mostly observation and recording of findings. The limitation on the study was that it didn’t study genetic influence, allowed biases, may have included a threshold considering the community sample rather than a generalized sample over several populations and allowed objective measures. They also issued the 20-item Parent Role Quality Scale to measure stress and support, the 56-item Infant Temperament Questionnaire to indicate overall parental stress and value for affection, the 25-item Love and Relationships Scale to determine the mother’s love and marriage conflict experience, and the My Time Spent as a Parent to indicate the father’s involvement. Four assessments of cognitive development were used, two at two years and two at 36 months. Security attachment was measured at 36 months using the Strange Situation and The Child Behavior Checklist, and The Adaptive Social Behavior Inventory measured socioemotional competence of the child.
The study was held in five stages. First, statistics and findings were examined. Second, they found the number of stable relationships based on the contrast in intrusive and withdrawn characteristics. Third, analysis was used to determine how the mothers differentiated in resources, stress, and support. Fourth, they observed how well the children of the depressive mothers were developing. Last, they determined if the outcome of the child raised by the mother with depressive symptoms differed from a child raised by a mother lacking depressive qualities and if so, then how.
Discussion and Conclusions
The research showed that mothers with depressive qualities still hold the ability to be good parents. It showed the factors that contribute to the competence between mothers varies and explained the patterns