Maternal depression, children's attachment security, and representational development: An organizational perspective

Sheree L. Toth, Fred A. Rogosch, Melissa Sturge-Apple, Dante Cicchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations

Abstract

Relations among maternal depression, child attachment, and children's representations of parents and self were examined. Participants included toddlers and their mothers with a history of major depressive disorder (n = 63) or no history of mental disorder (n = 68). Attachment was assessed at 20 and 36 months and representations of parents and self were assessed at 36 and 48 months. Depressive symptoms were assessed at all 3 time points. While early-occurring maternal depression had a negative impact on children's negative and positive representations of parents, attachment security mediated the relation between depressive symptoms and negative representations. Attachment security served as an intervening variable between maternal depression and changes in children's negative representations of self. Implications for prevention are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)192-208
Number of pages17
JournalChild development
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

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