Maternal Cognitions and Mother–Infant Interaction in Postnatal Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Journal of Abnormal Psychology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 01/2012; 121(4). DOI: 10.1037/a0026847
Source: PubMed


Postnatal depression and anxiety have been shown to increase the risk of disturbances in mother-child interaction and child development. Research into mechanisms has focused on genetics and maternal behavior; maternal cognitions have received little attention. Our aim was to experimentally determine if worry and rumination in mothers with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), diagnosed in the postnatal 6 months, interfered with maternal responsiveness to their 10-month old infants. Mothers (N = 253: GAD n = 90; MDD n = 57; control n = 106) and their infants were randomized to either a worry/rumination prime (WRP) or a neutral prime (NP); mother-infant interactions were assessed before and after priming. Type of priming was a significant predictor of maternal cognitions, with WRP resulting in more negative thoughts, higher thought recurrence and more self-focus relative to NP across the entire sample. Interaction effects between group and priming were significant for two parenting variables: Compared with controls, WRP had a more negative impact on maternal responsiveness to infant vocalization for GAD, and to a lesser extent for MDD; WRP led to decreased maternal vocalization for GAD. Also, mothers with GAD used stronger control after the NP than WRP, as well as compared with other groups, and overall post-priming, their children exhibited lower emotional tone and more withdrawal. Across the entire sample, WRP was associated with increased child vocalization relative to NP. This study demonstrated that disturbances in maternal cognitions, in the context of postnatal anxiety and to a lesser degree depression, play a significant role in mother-child interaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

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    • "nd Eidelman , 2007 ) . Anxiety has a similar effect on the quality of mother – child interactions , even though the interactive behavior of these dyads has been less explored so far . In particular , recent literature focused on the cognitive components of anxiety and on the specific worries linked to the perinatal period ( Murray et al . , 2007 ; Stein et al . , 2012 ) ."
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal depression and anxiety represent risk factors for the quality of early mother-preterm infant interactions, especially in the case of preterm birth. Despite the presence of many studies on this topic, the comorbidity of depressive and anxious symptoms has not been sufficiently investigated, as well as their relationship with the severity of prematurity and the quality of early interactions. The Aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of early mother-infant interactions and the prevalence of maternal depression and anxiety comparing dyads of Extremely Low Birth Weight-ELBW and Very Low Birth Weight-VLBW preterm infants with full-term ones. 77 preterm infants (32 ELBW; 45 VLBW) and 120 full term (FT) infants and their mothers were recruited. At 3 months of corrected age, 5 minutes of mother-infant interactions were recorded and later coded through the Global Ratings Scales. Mothers completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Infant levels of development were assessed through the Griffiths Mental Development Scales. A relation emerged among the severity of prematurity, depression, anxiety, and the quality of interactions. When compared with the FT group, the ELBW interactions were characterized by high maternal intrusiveness and low remoteness, while the VLBW dyads showed high levels of maternal sensitivity and infant communication. Depression was related to maternal remoteness and negative affective state, anxiety to low sensitivity, while infant interactive behaviours were impaired only in case of comorbidity. ELBW’s mothers showed the highest prevalence of depressive and anxious symptoms; moreover, only in FT dyads, low maternal sensitivity, negative affective state and minor infant communication were associated to the presence of anxious symptoms. The results confirmed the impact of prematurity on mother–infant interactions and on maternal affective state. Early diagnosis help to plan supportive interventions
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Frontiers in Psychology
    • "In a recent prospective study, antenatal rumination, as assessed by the Perserverative Thinking Measure (Müller et al., 2013), predicted lower feelings of self-reported bonding with the infant at 8 weeks postpartum. In an experimental study, mothers with Major Depression who were induced to ruminate versus distract demonstrated a trend towards reduced responsiveness with their infants (Stein et al., 2012). However, there is less research examining broader infant-specific and contextual factors in the mother–infant relationship that may affect the impact of rumination on maternal attunement. "
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    ABSTRACT: Postnatal maternal depressive symptoms are consistently associated with impairments in maternal attunement (i.e., maternal responsiveness and bonding). There is a growing body of literature examining the impact of maternal cognitive factors (e.g., rumination) on maternal attunement and mood. However, little research has examined the role of infant temperament and maternal social support in this relationship. This study investigated the hypothesis that rumination would mediate (1) the relationship between depressive symptoms and attunement and (2) the relationship between social support and attunement. We further predicted that infant temperament would moderate these relationships, such that rumination would demonstrate mediating effects on attunement when infant difficult temperament was high, but not low. Two hundred and three mothers completed measures on rumination, depressive symptoms, attunement, perceived social support and infant temperament. Rumination mediated the effect of postnatal maternal depressive mood on maternal self-reported responsiveness to the infant when infants were low, but not high, in negative temperament. When infants had higher negative temperament, there were direct relationships between maternal depressive symptoms, social support and maternal self-reported responsiveness to the infant. This study is limited by its cross-sectional and correlational nature and the use of self-report measures to assess a mother's awareness of her infant needs and behaviours, rather than observational measures of maternal sensitivity. These findings suggest potentially different pathways to poor maternal responsiveness than those expected and provide new evidence about the contexts in which maternal cognitive factors, such as rumination, may impact on the mother-infant relationship. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Infant behavior & development
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    • "Depressed new mothers have been found to show a negative bias in interpreting infant facial expressions (Gil, Teissedre, Chambres, & Droit-Volet, 2011), to have more negative attitudes toward their baby and toward themselves as mothers (Fowles, 2010), to have lower levels of parenting efficacy (O'Neil, Wilson, Shaw, & Dishion, 2009), to think less of themselves as mothers (Horowitz, Damato, Duffey, & Solon, 2005), and to have more negative attitudes toward the mother role (Deave, 2005). Stein et al. (2012) found that anxious and depressed mothers of 10-month-old infants were significantly less responsive to their infants following priming with negative worry or ruminative thoughts. Parenting a neonate with an irritable temperament and poor motor control, characteristics that tend to inhibit a child's interpersonal responsiveness, has been associated with postnatal depression (Murray, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study explored the relationship of depressive cognitions, socially prescribed perfectionism and self-silencing, to postnatal depression and women’s beliefs about motherhood. The study aimed to replicate, with a postnatal sample, findings in the depression literature that link certain depressive cognitions with depressive symptoms. Additionally, the study explored a proposed model in which these cognitions influenced the development of dysfunctional maternal attitudes and postnatal depressive symptoms. Background: Postnatal depression and dysfunctional maternal attitudes are situated within the interactional model of depression. The importance of beliefs about interpersonal relationships that are thought to lead to depressive symptoms is explored and explained theoretically. Methods: A cross-sectional design used correlational and SEM path analysis to examine interrelationships between variables. Participants were 77 postnatal women from 18 to 38 years of age attending their regular gynaecological appointments 4–8 weeks after childbirth. Measures used included: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Maternal Attitudes Questionnaire, Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and the Silencing the Self Scale. Results: Socially prescribed perfectionism, externalised self-perception, self-silencing, the divided self and dysfunctional maternal attitudes were significantly correlated with postnatal depression (r = .354–.677) and with each other (r = .272–.574). SEM modelling (final model, χ2(7, 77) = .891, CFI = 1.000, RMSEA = .000) suggested that postnatal depression is most strongly related to externalised self-perception and socially prescribed perfectionism through the mediating effects of dysfunctional maternal attitudes and the divided self. Conclusions: Depressive cognitions were found to be related to postnatal depression in ways similar to depression in other life periods. The central finding of this study was the observation that dysfunctional maternal attitudes and the divided self-mediate the relationship between depressive cognitions and postnatal depression.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
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