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Keywords:

  • Mothers;
  • Maternal Insightfulness;
  • Maternal Depression;
  • Positive Parenting

Insightfulness is seen as the mental capacity that provides the context for a secure child–parent attachment. It involves the ability to see things from the child's perspective and is based on insight into the child's motives, a complex view of the child and openness to new information about the child. To test our hypothesis that maternal insightfulness is related to maternal depression, we utilized the Insightfulness Assessment (IA) developed by Oppenheim and Koren-Karie to conduct and analyse interviews in which mothers discussed their perceptions of video segments of their interactions with their children. We compared the results of a control group of 30 mothers without a diagnosis of depression with a sample of 23 mothers diagnosed with depression (International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision). As expected, depression was negatively related to maternal insightfulness.

Oppenheim and Koren-Karie have argued that the IA might be used as a diagnostic instrument; our work suggests that the IA might show ways of aiding mothers in improving the quality of mother–infant interaction while they are being treated for depression. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message

  • Insightfulness is seen as the mental capacity that provides the context for a secure child–parent attachment.
  • Maternal depression was negatively related to maternal insightfulness.
  • The Insightfulness Assessment might be used as a diagnostic instrument.
  • The Insightfulness Assessment might show ways of aiding mothers in improving the quality of mother-infant interaction while they are being treated for depression.