April 29, 2014


Maternal Depression

This study aims to establish the ways in which mothers’ responses to and processing of adolescent interpersonal affective behavior diverge as a function of maternal depression.

To this end, we will use microsocial behavioral observation of mother-child interactions, neuroimaging, psychophysiological, and video-mediated recall protocols to identify differences between depressed and non-depressed mothers in cognitive-affective processing of child affective behavior, at the phenomenological, cognitive, psychological and neural levels. We will also examine the manner in, and extent to which, these neurobiological and cognitive-affective responses to adolescent affective behavior are associated with observed parenting and mother-adolescent interactional behavior, as well as the extent to which they account for the well-established association between maternal depression and these outcomes.

Finally, we will assess whether, and to what extent, the associations observed in aims 1 and 2 are moderated by well-established macro-influences on parenting behavior, including adolescent characteristics, paternal depression, and stressful life conditions.