Children of Depressed Mothers provides a developmental perspective on the psychopathology of offspring of depressed mothers. A primary theme is the interplay of factors in the child (developmental stage, gender, temperament) and environment (depressed mother's symptomatic behavior and family functioning) as contributors to psychiatric and psychosocial problems in offspring. Children and their families are followed from toddlerhood to the threshold of adulthood. The emergence and evolution of problems differ by mother's diagnosis, whether unipolar or bipolar depressed or well. Configurations of variables in the individual child are identified that in combination, create diverse processes that put offspring at risk for specific problems. Early depressed mother-child relationships are strongly influential. Specific affective and temperament qualities of mother and child act reciprocally, increasing risk. The longitudinal data show the nature of the connectedness of early experience to ongoing development, and identify patterns of child-to-adult connections. Findings suggest new questions and revised research paradigms
Includes bibliographical references (pages 193-203) and index
1. Orientation and Themes -- 2. An Overview -- 3. Questions and Answers in the Literature -- 4. Research Design and Procedures -- 5. Children of Depressed Mothers: Case Descriptions -- 6. The Development of Children of Depressed and Well Mothers: Group Analyses -- 7. The Development of Children of Depressed and Well Mothers: Longitudinal Analyses of Individual Development -- 8. Children's Problems in Relation to Characteristics of Mother's Depression and Illness History -- 9. Family Environments: Case Descriptions -- 10. Family Environments of Depression -- 11. Depressed Parents: Case Descriptions -- 12. The Depressed Mother as Environment -- 13. The Child as a Variable in Development and Outcome -- 14. Common and Diverse Pathways, Mechanisms, and Outcomes -- 15. Prediction and Understanding of Development
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