Study: Bipolar mothers’ interaction with infants weaker than unipolar mothers’


Maternal-infant interaction was worse when mothers had bipolar depression, compared with when mothers had unipolar depression or no depression, according to a study.

The study’s participants included 40 women with bipolar disorder, 50 women with a unipolar major depressive disorder, and 40 women without a major mood disorder. Researchers observed and videotaped the mothers interacting with their babies, when the mothers were 12 months post partum. Four research assistants separately assessed the interactions of each mother-baby pair, using the following four observational instruments: the Ainsworth Maternal Sensitivity Scale ( AMSS ), the Maternal Behavior Q-Sort ( MBQS ), the Dyadic Mini Code ( DMC ), and the Child-Caregiver Mutual Regulation Scale ( CCMR ). The research assistants were unaware of each mother’s depression and treatment statuses.

Women with bipolar disorder had lower scores related to maternal-infant interaction on the AMSS, DMC, and MBQS, compared with women without depression or with unipolar depression. Measures of maternal sensitivity (AMSS, MBQS) and maternal-infant synchrony (DMC) also were lower in the women with bipolar depression.

“Although there was a trend for measures of both maternal sensitivity (especially the AMSS) and maternal-infant synchrony to be lower in women with bipolar depression, the differences were not significant,” reported M. Cynthia Logsdon, Ph.D. , of the University of Louisville (Ky.), and her colleagues.

Studies on maternal-infant interaction at earlier postpartum periods are needed, according to the researchers.

Read the full study here: (Appl Nurs Res. 2015;28:381-3. doi:10.1016/j.apnr.2015.01.012 ).


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