Maternal Depressive Symptoms During the Pre- and Postnatal Periods and Infant Attention to Emotional Faces

Article by Christine Parsons et al published in Child Development

2018.10.09 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Abstract

We examined how infants’ attentional disengagement from happy, fearful, neutral, and phase‐scrambled faces at 8 months, as assessed by eye tracking, is associated with trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from early pregnancy to 6 months postpartum (decreasing n = 48, increasing n = 34, and consistently low symptom levels n = 280). The sample (mother–infant dyads belonging to a larger FinnBrain Birth Cohort Study) was collected between 5/2013–6/2016. The overall disengagement probability from faces to distractors was not related to maternal depressive symptoms, but fear bias was heightened in infants whose mothers reported decreasing or increasing depressive symptoms. Exacerbated attention to fearful faces in infants of mothers with depressive symptoms may be independent of the timing of the symptoms in the pre‐ and postnatal stages.

Article

 

Eeva‐Leena Kataja, Linnea Karlsson, Jukka M. Leppänen, Juho Pelto, Tuomo Häikiö, Saara Nolvi Henri Pesonen, Christine E. Parsons, Jukka Hyönä, Hasse Karlsson. Maternal Depressive Symptoms During the Pre- and Postnatal Periods and Infant Attention to Emotional Faces. Child Development. October 2018

DOI      https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13152

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Christine Parsons, Associate Professor, Dept. of Clinical Medicine and Interactimg Minds Centre, AU

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