This longitudinal investigation will evaluate the relative efficacy of two theoretically-informed approaches to preventing maladaptation, a depressotypic developmental organization, and emergent psychopathology in young offspring of low-income depressed mothers. Research participants will include 260 mothers and their infants; 195 mothers will have a current major depressive disorder and 65 demographically comparable mothers will have no lifetime history of mental disorder. All families will be at or below the federal poverty level. Depressed mothers and their infants will be randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment conditions: 1) Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) for 4 months followed by an attention control for 8 months; 2)IPT for 4 months followed by Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (IPP) for 8 months; and 3) Enhanced Community Standard (ECS) treatment for depression, involving facilitated referrals for standard interventions in the community. Baseline assessments will be conducted when infants are 12 months old, with subsequent re-assessments when infants are 14, 16, 24, 36, and 48 months of age. Assessments will measure three major areas: 1) Maternal depressive symptomatology and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) diagnosis, social role functioning, support, and home contextual features; 2) the quality of the mother-child relationship and affective features of parenting; and 3) child functioning, stage-salient issues, and stress-reactivity. Longitudinal comparisons of the two active preventive intervention groups (IPT and IPT/IPP) with the ECS and nondisordered groups will be used to determine: 1) whether IPT and IPT/IPP are efficacious in reducing maternal depressive symptomatology and MDD relapse through the child's age of four; 2) whether treatment targeted on maternal depression is sufficient to alter the developmental course in offspring; and 3) whether intervention directly focused on the mother-child relationship also is necessary to promote positive outcomes and reduce risk for maladaptation and psychopathology in young offspring of depressed mothers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Project (R01)
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Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior Integrated Review Group (RPHB)
Program Officer
Vitiello, Benedetto
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University of Rochester
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Handley, Elizabeth D; Michl-Petzing, Louisa C; Rogosch, Fred A et al. (2017) Developmental cascade effects of interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed mothers: Longitudinal associations with toddler attachment, temperament, and maternal parenting efficacy. Dev Psychopathol 29:601-615
Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Rogosch, Fred A et al. (2016) Genome-wide DNA methylation in 1-year-old infants of mothers with major depressive disorder. Dev Psychopathol 28:1413-1419
Michl, Louisa C; Handley, Elizabeth D; Rogosch, Fred et al. (2015) Self-Criticism as a Mechanism Linking Childhood Maltreatment and Maternal Efficacy Beliefs in Low-Income Mothers With and Without Depression. Child Maltreat 20:291-300
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Cicchetti, Dante; Toth, Sheree L (2009) The past achievements and future promises of developmental psychopathology: the coming of age of a discipline. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 50:16-25
Cicchetti, Dante; Gunnar, Megan R (2008) Integrating biological measures into the design and evaluation of preventive interventions. Dev Psychopathol 20:737-43
Cicchetti, Dante; Thomas, Kathleen M (2008) Imaging brain systems in normality and psychopathology. Dev Psychopathol 20:1023-7
Cicchetti, Dante; Curtis, W John (2005) An event-related potential study of the processing of affective facial expressions in young children who experienced maltreatment during the first year of life. Dev Psychopathol 17:641-77