Using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the authors modeled trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from infant age 1 month to 7 years. The authors identified 6 trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms: high-chronic, moderate-increasing, high-decreasing, intermittent, moderate-stable, and low-stable. Women on these depression trajectories varied in sociodemographic risk and in changes in observed maternal sensitivity over time. Maternal sensitivity was generally higher and increased when depressive symptoms were low; sensitivity was lower and decreased when depressive symptoms were either high or increasing. Child outcomes at 1st grade were examined by trajectory group. The authors discuss the complexity of disentangling maternal symptoms from maternal sensitivity and sociodemographic risk when predicting children's functioning.
- child adjustment
- maternal depressive symptoms
- maternal sensitivity
- sociodemographic risk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies