Preschoolers of Dysphoric Mothers


Requests for reprints to: Tiffany Field, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101, U.S.A.


Dysphoric mothers rated their preschool children as having more internalizing and externalizing behavior problems than children of nondysphoric mothers. Observers rated the dysphoric mothers as having more negative affect during play interactions, although their children's affect was not rated more negatively. The dysphoric mother-infant dyads were also rated as having a poorer quality interaction. These data suggest that mothers’ chronic dysphoria (75% were chronically dysphoric) has a negative impact on the mothers’ perceptions of their children as well as the mothers’ and children's interaction behavior.