Maternal Psychological Burden, Mother-Child Interaction, and Infant’s Looking Behavior



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A number of studies have documented effects of maternal depression, stress, psychological burden on children’s developmental outcomes. Studies suggest that dyads affected by depression or depressive behaviors show compromised mother-child interaction and cognitive developmental outcomes. However, there has been little investigation of the microstructure of mother-child interaction to approach the potential mechanism underlying the relation between the maternal depression/depressive behaviors and infant’s developmental outcomes. The goal of this study was to characterize the microstructure of mother-child object play behaviors by focusing on parental’ scaffolding and their 3 to 18 months-old-infants’ socially coordinated visual experiences during a 10 minutes play. The results showed that the healthy mothers’ attention to toy object and hands (parent’s own and the infant’s) and their child’s attention to toy object were significantly more frequently observed when compared to the effected group. The findings point to the possible pathway in which maternal threshold depressive symptoms may influence early learning via visual experiences with object during social interactions.



Maternal Depression, Depressive Symptoms, Threshold Depression, Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology