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08-11-2023 | Original Paper

Sequential Change in Postpartum Mothers’ Affect between Conflict Discussions with Partners and Play Interactions with Infants

Auteurs: Rachel A. Level, Rachel L. Hutt, Micah A. Mammen, Ginger A. Moore

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 5/2024

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Abstract

Negative marital relationships are associated, concurrently, with less warm parenting (i.e., spillover) and this may be exacerbated for mothers with postpartum depression, who typically experience more marital conflict than other mothers. When examining time-lagged effects, however, previous work has found that mothers may compensate following negative marital interactions by investing more positively in parenting. Based on an emotion regulation perspective that emphasizes the temporal nature of affective experiences and the concept of positive emotions “undoing” the effect of negative emotions, we hypothesized that mothers with higher levels of depression may show greater increases in positive affect with their children in an effort to regulate negative affect elicited by marital conflict. To examine this temporal process, we coded mothers’ (N = 46) positive and negative affect during marital conflict discussions and subsequent play interactions with their seven-month-old infants and examined sequential change in affect between the interactions. Mothers’ self-reported depressive symptoms (BDI-II scores) were examined in relation to sequential change. Although all mothers were more positive with infants than with partners, higher levels of depressive symptoms were related to greater increases in positive affect with infants following more negative interactions with partners. Findings suggest mothers with depression may try to regulate negative affect elicited within marital relationships by engaging in positive interactions with their infants. Maternal depression may contribute to greater investment in parent-child relationships relative to marital relationships.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Sequential Change in Postpartum Mothers’ Affect between Conflict Discussions with Partners and Play Interactions with Infants
Auteurs
Rachel A. Level
Rachel L. Hutt
Micah A. Mammen
Ginger A. Moore
Publicatiedatum
08-11-2023
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 5/2024
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-023-02698-7

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