Biological Sensitivity to the Effects of Maternal Postpartum Depressive Symptoms on Children's Behavior Problems

Jennifer A. Somers, Linda Luecken, Tracy Spinrad, Keith Crnic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) may confer infant susceptibility to the postpartum environment. Among infants with higher RSA, there may be a positive relation between depressive symptoms across the first 6 months postpartum (PPD) and later behavior problems, and toddlers’ dysregulation during mother–child interactions may partially explain the effects. Among a sample of low-income Mexican-American families, infant RSA (N = 322; 46% male) was assessed at 6 weeks of age; mothers (Mage = 27.8, SD = 6.5) reported PPD symptoms every 3 weeks from 6 to 24 weeks and infant behavior problems at 36 months. Dysregulation was observed at 24 months. PPD was positively associated with behavior problems only among infants with lower RSA; however, this relation was not mediated by dysregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e888-e900
JournalChild development
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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