From the abstract:
This article examined the associations between family processes and children’s development among mothers and their children participating in early intervention (EI) services. Data from mothers and their infants and toddlers (n = 100) participating in EI were analyzed using regression methods to test the predictive power of maternal depressive symptoms, self-efficacy, and quality of mother–child interactions on children’s behavior problems and social and emotional competence. Mother–child interactions were the most robust predictor of child behavior problems and competence. The presence of clinically elevated maternal depressive symptoms was high (30%) and associated with more child behavior problems. Stronger endorsement of self-efficacy also was related to higher levels of child social and emotional competence. We discuss our findings related to opportunities and challenges to support mothers experiencing depressive symptoms. EI services that strive toward an integrated approach could identify mothers with depressive symptoms and play an increased role in directly addressing their needs.