Infants of mothers who remain depressed beyond their infants' first few months develop depressed behavior during early interactions and experience later developmental delays. The purposes of this research are: 1) to find predictors of the mother's continuing depression during the first few months; 2) based on those predictors identify those mothers and infants that will need early intervention for those dyads. For the study on identifying risk factors for continuing depression (first 2 years) a number of infant measures (sleep/wake and face-to-face interaction behavior, temperament, heart rate and catecholamines/cortisol) and maternal measures (self-reported depression, anxiety, stress and social support, interaction behavior, EEG, EMG and catecholamines/cortisol) will be monitored at birth, 3 and 6 months in 200 dyads. Using a regression model a cumulative risk index will be formed on the birth and 3 month measures that predicted to continuing depression at 6 months. In a second sample of 200 depressed mother-infant dyads the 80% expected to remain depressed will be identified based on the high risk index score and randomly assigned to a prevention/control group at 3 months in an attempt to prevent infant depression by reducing depressed maternal behavior during the """"""""critical"""""""" 3- 6 month social interaction period. The interventions are designed to reduce those maternal behaviors that are likely to contribute to infant depression. They include reducing depressed mood in the mothers (by music mood induction/relaxation therapy), enhancing sensitivity to infant cues (by infant massage and imitation/interaction coaching) and reducing attributions of infant behavior (by video and auditory feedback). The effects of this prevention on infant mood, behavior and development will be assessed across the first two years.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (R37)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Miami School of Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Field, Tiffany (2014) Massage therapy research review. Complement Ther Clin Pract 20:224-9
Pelaez, Martha; Virues-Ortega, Javier; Field, Tiffany M et al. (2013) Social referencing in infants of mothers with symptoms of depression. Infant Behav Dev 36:548-56
Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Maluga, Mark; Field, Tiffany (2012) Maternal depression and infant birth measures relate to how neonates respond to music. Infant Behav Dev 35:655-61
Field, Tiffany (2012) Prenatal exercise research. Infant Behav Dev 35:397-407
Field, Tiffany; Diego, Miguel; Hernandez-Reif, Maria et al. (2012) Yoga and massage therapy reduce prenatal depression and prematurity. J Bodyw Mov Ther 16:204-9
Field, Tiffany (2012) Exercise research on children and adolescents. Complement Ther Clin Pract 18:54-9
Field, Tiffany; Diego, Miguel; Hernandez-Reif, Maria (2011) Potential underlying mechanisms for greater weight gain in massaged preterm infants. Infant Behav Dev 34:383-9
Field, Tiffany (2011) Prenatal depression effects on early development: a review. Infant Behav Dev 34:1-14
Field, Tiffany (2011) Tai Chi research review. Complement Ther Clin Pract 17:141-6
Field, Tiffany (2011) Yoga clinical research review. Complement Ther Clin Pract 17:1-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 108 publications