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Current research supports a link between maternal depression and difficult child temperament. The direction of effect is often assumed to be from parent to child, but few studies have addressed child to parent effects. In a large cohort study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) (N=14663), we aimed to further existing knowledge by investigating the relationship between maternal and paternal depressive symptoms and child temperament, and determining the direction of any effects found. Data was collected at 2 time-points (when the children were 6 and 24 months old), using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Mood and Intensity subscales of the Carey Temperament Scales. Significant parent to child effects were seen, with maternal and paternal depressive symptoms at Time 1 leading to more difficult temperament at Time 2. Father to child effects were significant only in male children. Little evidence was found for child to parent effects.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.infbeh.2009.11.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

Infant Behav Dev

Publication Date

02/2010

Volume

33

Pages

88 - 95

Keywords

Adaptation, Psychological, Child of Impaired Parents, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Depressive Disorder, Fathers, Female, Humans, Infant, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Mothers, Parent-Child Relations, Social Adjustment, Temperament