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Associations between maternal depressive symptoms and child internalizing problems


This longitudinal study examined the moderating roles of language use and gender in the relations between maternal depressive symptoms and child internalizing behaviour problems in 242 preschool children (48% girls) enrolled in Head Start centres. Teachers and parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1½-5. Mothers completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Results indicated the concurrent and longitudinal relationships between maternal depressive symptoms and child internalizing problems (as reported by mothers but not teachers) varied by language use, such that higher maternal depressive symptoms predicted internalizing problems for children who spoke Spanish as primary language, but not for English-speaking children. Gender did not play a role in the association between maternal depressive symptoms and internalizing problems. The importance of supporting Spanish-speaking children and families was discussed. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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