You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Depressed Mothers' Judgments about Their Children: An Examination of the Depression-Distortion Hypothesis
John Richters and David Pellegrini
Vol. 60, No. 5 (Oct., 1989), pp. 1068-1075
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130780
Page Count: 8
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
The belief that depressed mothers have distorted perceptions of their children's problems has gained considerable currency in recent years. The empirical basis for this belief at present amounts to little more than reliable demonstrations that depressed mothers tend to report more behavior problems in their children than do nondepressed mothers. An obvious alternative to the distortion interpretation is that depressed mothers are accurate about their children's behavior problems. We examined these competing models by comparing teachers' ratings of children with ratings provided by their mothers, who varied on the dimensions of depressed mood, depressed clinical state, and history of depression. Mothers' and teachers' ratings yielded substantially similar portraits of child behavior problems at the group level, with children of in-remission and in-episode mothers manifesting significantly higher levels of behavior problems than children of control mothers. Moreover, agreement between mothers and teachers was in the moderate range for all index groups and did not differ significantly from the mean level of mother-teacher agreement reported by other investigators based on unselected samples. The limitations of these findings and of earlier reports for assessing a depression → distortion influence on mothers' ratings of their children are considered.
Child Development © 1989 Society for Research in Child Development