Author(s): Whiffen VE, Gotlib IH
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Abstract This study examined the association of postpartum depression with specific infant characteristics. Twenty-five diagnosed depressed and 25 nondepressed mothers and their 2-month-old infants participated in the study. The mothers completed measures of infant temperament and difficulty associated with infant care, and the infants were assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development. Group comparisons indicated that, compared with the infants of the nondepressed mothers, the infants of the depressed women were less competent cognitively and expressed more negative emotions during the testing. The depressed mothers perceived their infants as more difficult to care for and more bothersome than did the nondepressed mothers, but did not attribute these difficulties to the temperament of their infants. These findings suggest that postpartum depression is associated with an identifiable pattern of infant behavior that may exacerbate depressed women's mood.
This article was published in J Abnorm Psychol
and referenced in Journal of Depression and Anxiety