Developmental Psychopathology in Children of Depressed Mothers
It is suggested that the tripartite model by Parke, MacDonald, Beitel, and Bhavnagri (1988) of the ways that parents influence their child's social development might be used to organize the study of abnormal development in children of depressed mothers. Parents influence their child through dyadic interaction, coaching and teaching practices, and managing their child's social environment. Disruption in each of these areas has been associated with parental psychopathology and has been implicated in the development of deviant child outcomes. The components of a theoretical model of developmental psychopathology are outlined, as well as theoretical and methodological problems that have yet to be resolved. Issues of concern include the heterogeneity of maternal diagnoses; distinguishing among genetic, parenting, and environmental effects; matching the level of behavioral analysis with the question being answered; the heterogeneity of child outcomes; age-related effects; bidirectional influences; and the role of paternal psychopathology.
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