The communication patterns of depressed and nondepressed Hispanic mothers
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This study examines the interaction patterns in depressed and nondepressed mothers and their children. The individuals who were selected for study were Hispanic who predominantly reside in a lower socioeconomic area.;The verbal and nonverbal communication patterns were studied in 13 depressed and 12 nondepressed mothers. These two channels of communication necessarily occur within a positive or negative framework. Positive communication includes such behaviors as indications of encouragement, positive reinforcement, and responsiveness. Negative communication includes criticisms, prohibitions, intrusions, and nonresponsive behaviors.;The results suggested significant differences between the communication patterns of the depressed and nondepressed Hispanic mothers. Nonverbal communication of depressed mothers differed more than the communication of nondepressed mothers. Depressed mothers tended to ignore, to move away, refused to help, and distracted their own children more than did the nondepressed mothers. Depressed mothers expressed more negative affect than the nondepressed mothers. On the other hand, depressed mothers ordered their children less than did the nondepressed mothers. No significant differences were found in the children of depressed mothers' IQ and language usage.;The findings of the subjects are limited to the small sample, to a secondary study, and to the reality that the subjects were not randomly selected.;This study needs replication with a larger sample of subjects and a comparison group of non-Hispanic mothers. In addition, both affective and cognitive attributes of the children should be assessed.;Research should additionally be conducted on the effects of intervention programs on the affective disorders of Hispanic mothers and their effects on mother-child dyadic interaction. Such research could provide important data on how to help depressed Hispanic mothers improve their relationship with their children.
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