Maternal depression and its effect on preschooler's attachment representations

T Trapolini, J Ungerer, C McMahon

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


    The study explores the effects of maternal depression on the parental attachment representations
    of 90 preschoolers. A sample of mothers
    with unsettled infants was originally recruited from
    a mothercraft unit at 2-4 months postpartum. A
    diagnostic interview for depression was conducted
    at four months and the sample was followed up
    until infants were 15 months. The current study
    reports a follow up of the group of mothers when
    their children were 4 years old. Attachment representations
    were assessed with the Attachment Story
    Completion Task (SCT; see Bretherton, Ridgeway
    L? Cassidy, 1990). The SCT uses five story stems
    involving a child and hisher parents in increasingly
    stressful situations to elicit narratives in a play
    context. Children's enactments and story completions
    were then examined for several attachment
    themes, including coherency and resolution. Analyses
    will examine the relationship between depression
    in the first postnatal year, concurrent
    depressive symptoms, and individual differences in
    attachment representations at four years. In particular,
    it will be determined whether even transient
    exposure to maternal depression continues to
    adversely affect the mother-child attachment
    relationship during the preschool years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-230
    Number of pages1
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue numberS1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
    EventConference of the Australian Psychological Society (39th : 2004) - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 28 Sept 20043 Oct 2004


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