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Asselmann, Eva; Venz, John; Wittchen, Hans-Ulrich; Martini, Julia (2018): Maternal anxiety and depressive disorders prior to, during and after pregnancy and infant interaction behaviors during the Face-to-Face Still Face Paradigm at 4 months postpartum: A prospective-longitudinal study. In: Early Human Development, Vol. 122: pp. 45-53
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Abstract

Background: Few studies prospectively examined the role of maternal anxiety and depressive disorders for early infant psychosocial stress responsivity. Aims: To investigate the role of lifetime maternal anxiety and depressive disorders for various early infant interaction behaviors during the Face-to-Face Still Face Paradigm (FFSFP) at 4 months postpartum. Study design/subjects: Prospective-longitudinal study among n = 251 mothers (and their infants) from early pregnancy until 4 months postpartum. Predictor: Cumulated lifetime diagnoses of maternal anxiety and depressive disorders, repeatedly assessed with the CIDI-V from early pregnancy until 4 months postpartum. Outcome measures: Infant positive and negative facial expressions and vocalizations, distancing behavior, self-and object-touch, observed during the FFSFP at 4 months postpartum. Results: As indicated by fractional logit models, higher proportions of object-touch were seen among infants of mothers with anxiety only (still face: 7.8%) and comorbid anxiety and depression (still face: 7.9%;reunion: 2.9%) vs. no anxiety and no depression. Higher proportion changes in object-touch were found among infants of mothers with anxiety only (play to still face: 6.4%) and comorbid anxiety and depression (play to still face: 7.2%;play to reunion: 2.7%) vs. no anxiety and no depression. Higher proportion changes in distancing behavior were seen among infants of mothers with comorbid anxiety and depression (still face to reunion: 1.1%;play to reunion: 1.3%) vs. no anxiety and no depression. Conclusions: Particularly mothers with anxiety only and comorbid anxiety and depression and their infants might profit from targeted early interventions to foster favorable interaction behaviors in early infancy and thereafter.