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J Fam Psychol. 2007 Dec;21(4):714-25. doi: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.4.714.

Emotional exchange in mother-child dyads: stability, mutual influence, and associations with maternal depression and child problem behavior.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh PA 15260, USA.

Abstract

This study examined the stability of the child and maternal affective expression and maternal responsiveness and the mutual influence of child and maternal expression of emotion. The authors tested whether maternal depression and child problem behavior were associated with the pattern of emotional exchange within the mother-child dyads. The sample consisted of 69 mother-child dyads (children aged 2-5 years), with 32 of the mothers having childhood-onset depression. Mothers were mostly stable in their affective expression (positive and negative) and responsiveness, whereas children were only stable in positive expression. Within the dyads, mothers seemed to play a more important role in regulating children's later emotional expression. Maternal depression was associated with concurrent maternal responsiveness and their reduced positive expression over time. Results are discussed in relation to the differential function of parental general positivity and responsiveness and the interpersonal transmission of emotional problems.

PMID:
18179343
DOI:
10.1037/0893-3200.21.4.714
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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