Interactive Regulation of Affect in Postpartum Depressed Mothers and Their Infants: An Overview

  title={Interactive Regulation of Affect in Postpartum Depressed Mothers and Their Infants: An Overview},
  author={Corinna Reck and Aoife Hunt and Thomas Fuchs and Robin Weiss and Andrea Noon and Eva Moehler and George Downing and Edward Z. Tronick and Christoph Mundt},
  pages={272 - 280}
Specific patterns of interaction emerging in the first months of life are related to processes regulating mutual affects in the mother-child dyad. Particularly important for the dyad are the matching and interactive repair processes. The interaction between postpartum depressed mothers and their children is characterized by a lack of responsiveness, by passivity or intrusiveness, withdrawal and avoidance, as well as a low level of positive expression of affect. Thus, an impaired capability to… 
Infants of depressed mothers.
Findings point out the need for therapeutic interventions that focus on the mother-infant dyad and infant affective state in the treatment of maternal depression and the specific interactive patterns associated with infant affect regulation.
Maternal bond and mother–child interaction in severe postpartum psychiatric disorders: Is there a link?
Investigation of differences in the self-perceived experience of bonding and the observed mother–child interaction of severely ill postpartum depressive and psychotic mothers shows that depressive mothers perceived their bonding to the baby more negatively than psychotic mothers.
Interactive coordination of currently depressed inpatient mothers and their infants during the postpartum period.
Evaluated patterns of dyadic coordination and the capacity for repairing states of miscoordination in an inpatient sample of postpartum currently depressed mothers and their infants as compared with a healthy control group.
The impact of maternal anxiety disorder on mother-infant interaction in the postpartum period
Results suggest that mother-infant intervention should consider affect regulation and infant sex-specific characteristics in anxious mother-Infant dyads and imply pronounced interactive positivity and early vulnerability to maternal anxiety symptoms in male infants.
From Early Micro-Temporal Interaction Patterns to Child Cortisol Levels: Toward the Role of Interactive Reparation and Infant Attachment in a Longitudinal Study
Parental mental disorders increase the risk for insecure attachment in children. However, the quality of caregiver–infant interaction plays a key role in the development of infant attachment. Dyadic
Mothers With Postpartum Psychiatric Disorders: Proposal for an Adapted Method to Assess Maternal Sensitivity in Interaction With the Child
An adapted method to assess maternal sensitivity based on methods recently approved in attachment research is provided, suggesting, that increased deficits are related to the severity of illness in mothers with comorbidities.
Depression Is Not Gender-Biased: Maternal and Paternal Depression and Early Parent-Infant Interactions
Using the mutual regulation model as a theoretical frame, central characteristics of the early parent-infant interaction are reviewed in the context of parental depression and how psychopathology and child gender differences may alter these interactions and increase infant vulnerability are reviewed.


The impact of postnatal depression and associated adversity on early mother-infant interactions and later infant outcome.
Depressed mothers were less sensitively attuned to their infants, and were less affirming and more negating of infant experience, and similar difficulties in maternal interactions were also evident in the context of social and personal adversity.
Infants of depressed mothers
Abstract Literature is reviewed demonstrating the impact of maternal depression on early infant interactions and development. Infants of depressed mothers (a) develop a depressed mood style as early
Face-to-Face Interactions of Postpartum Depressed and Nondepressed Mother-Infant Pairs at 2 Months
Depression's influence on mother-infant interactious at 2 months postpartum was studied in 24 depressed and 22 nondepressed mothex-infant dyads. Depression was diagnosed using the SADS-L and RDC. In
Maternal depressed mood and stress as related to vigilance, self-efficacy and mother-child interactions
Parenting self-efficacy, maternal vigilance, competence and child behaviour were studied in a community sample of mothers of 18-36-month-old children. Thirty dysphoric mothers had elevated Beck
The impact of maternal psychiatric illness on infant development.
The findings suggest that the symptom reports of treated mothers with established DSM diagnoses were similar overall to those of control mothers, however, the mothers' psychiatric illness had a compromising effect on their interactions with their infants and on their infants' social and emotional functioning.
Depression in First-Time Mothers: Mother-Infant Interaction and Depression Chronicity.
Married, middle-class women who met diagnostic criteria for depression and a comparable group of nondepressed women were videotaped interacting with their infants at home at 2, 4, and 6 months to highlight the need to distinguish between transient and protracted depression effects on the mother-infant relationship and infant outcome.
Specificity of infants' response to mothers' affective behavior.
  • J. Cohn, E. Tronick
  • Psychology
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 1989
It is suggested that withdrawn or intrusive maternal affective expression, together with lack of contingent responsiveness, may in part be responsible for the risk-status of infants in multiproblem families.