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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/12791

Title: Parental Depression, Parenting, and Cortisol Reactivity in Preschoolers
Authors: Tolep, Marissa
Advisors: Dougherty, Lea R
Department/Program: Psychology
Type: Thesis
Sponsors: Digital Repository at the University of Maryland
University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Developmental psychology
Keywords: Cortisol Reactivity
Depression
Offspring
Parenting
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This study systematically examined individual differences in stress sensitivity as a vulnerability marker for depression in young children. We collected five salivary cortisol samples from 142 preschool-age children who were exposed to a laboratory stressor paradigm. Parents (<italic>N</italic> = 88 with family history of depression) completed clinical interviews and an observational parent-child interaction task. We found that hostile parenting behavior moderated the relation between maternal depression and offspring cortisol. Specifically, the offspring of mothers who had a history of depression during the child's life and whose mothers exhibited hostility evidenced increasing cortisol levels in response to the stressor paradigm. Conversely, the offspring of mothers who had no history of depression and whose mothers exhibited hostility evidenced decreasing cortisol levels in response to the stressor. The data highlight the critical role of the early caregiving environment on offspring's developing stress system and add to our understanding of transmission of depression risk.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/12791
Appears in Collections:Psychology Theses and Dissertations
UMD Theses and Dissertations

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