The role of mother-infant interaction quality is studied in the relation between prenatal maternal emotional symptoms and child behavioral problems. Healthy pregnant, Dutch women (N = 96, M = 31.6, SD = 3.3) were allocated to the "exposed group" (n = 46), consisting of mothers with high levels of prenatal feelings of anxiety and depression, or the "low-exposed group" (n = 50), consisting of mothers with normal levels of depressive or anxious symptoms during pregnancy. When the children (49 girls, 47 boys) were 23 to 60 months of age (M = 39.0, SD = 9.6), parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist (T.M. Achenbach & L.A. Rescorla, ), and mother-child interaction quality during a home visit was rated using the Emotional Availability Scales. There were no differences in mother-child interaction quality between the prenatally exposed and low-exposed groups. Girls exposed to high prenatal emotional symptoms showed more internalizing problems, if maternal interaction quality was less optimal. No significant effects were found for boys.
Endendijk, J. J., de Bruijn, A., van Bakel, H. J. A., Wijnen, H., Pop, V. J. M., & van Baar, A. L. (2017). Maternal interaction quality moderates effects of prenatal maternal emotional symptoms on girls’ internalizing problems. Infant Mental Health Journal, 38(5), 634-644. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21662