Maternal Depressive Symptoms, Maternal Behavior, and Toddler Internalizing Outcomes: A Moderated Mediation Model

by Alexandra Carlyle Hummel

Institution: Miami University
Department: Psychology
Degree: MA
Year: 2013
Keywords: Clinical Psychology; thesis; depression; psychology; childhood; mental health; parenting
Record ID: 2012423
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=miami1366881153


The current study examined maternal behavior (warmth, intrusiveness) as mediators of the relation between maternal depressive symptoms and toddler internalizing outcomes, and toddler gender and temperament as moderators of the mediated relation. Ninety-one mothers and toddlers completed a free-play and clean-up task in the lab. Mothers completed questionnaires to rate their depressive symptoms and their toddlers’ temperament and internalizing behaviors. Results partially supported the hypothesized moderated mediation model. Maternal warmth mediated the relation between maternal depressive symptoms and toddler internalizing behaviors for boys with low negative emotionality. Mediation from maternal depressive symptoms to toddler internalizing outcomes through maternal intrusiveness was not supported, but toddler gender and temperament moderated the relation between maternal intrusiveness and toddler internalizing outcomes. The current study highlights the important interaction between child and maternal variables in predicting child outcomes, and suggests that mild maternal depressive symptomatology can be a risk factor for toddler internalizing outcomes.