Infant Child And Development Essay

845 words - 4 pages

Kyle Getz Extra Credit Paper

kgetz 120006691 October 18, 2009

The Link Between Mother and Infant Depression

Within many research attempts, a strong relationship has been established between maternal and infant depression along with the impact it has on the child’s developmental problems throughout childhood and even adolescence. Among these longitudinal studies, they also take the third-variable problem into consideration when measuring the contextual factors as well as the occurring interaction issues. The targeted hypothesis is that “infants of depressed mothers are found to be more likely to develop mental and socioemotional problems” (Van Doesum ...view middle of the document...

Such factors may be that depressed mothers speak to their children less, and when they do it is in a quiet, non-emphasized voice. This brings the issue of insufficient baby and infant-directed talk into the picture. They refuse to help resolve the infants’ conflicts, provide criticism and express hostility. From the other side of the relationship, the mutual imitation between mothers and their children results in a child imitating the mothers depressed behavior. They could even take it as far as copying the mother’s hostility and harsh discipline. Silence is another operative issue in the developmental process. When the insecurity of the mother causes her to ignore the child, her infant will display similar avoidance and cause them to function less in public atmospheres such as preschools and performing group tasks. “They have been found less effective in interpersonal relations...” (Van Doesum p. 163) and therefore allowing them to become more dependent, lack self-confidence and coping skills, and have a decreased ability in making friends.
Aside from the characteristics of the depressed mother (low self esteem, negative thinking, inactive) and their affected child (gender influence, temperament, genetics, age), contextual support or lack there of comes into play. Important social stresses that help influence the outcomes include experiencing dramatic life experience first hand. These factors are more common in families with a single or no parent, loss of a job, or a serious death. The results speak for themselves and state that each of the aforementioned factors are more common in families with depressed parents when being compared to those with healthy parents. Furthermore, the amount of...

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