Maternal depression and locus of control orientation as predictors of dyadic play behavior

Gail Houck, Cathryn L. Booth, Kathryn E. Barnard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Maternal locus of control orientation and depression were examined in relation to joint negotiation and coordination of mother‐child play at 20 months. Subjects were 51 high‐social‐risk mothers and children. Mothers completed the I‐E Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory prenatally and at 20 months; mother‐child interaction was videotaped in a laboratory playroom at 20 months. Tapes were coded using the Control‐Autonomy Balance Scales to evaluate maternal control and sensitivity and child engagement and autonomy. Analyses of dyadic play behavior indicated that maternal controllingness was related to an external locus of control orientation. Child engagement during play was related to the resolution of mild maternal depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-360
Number of pages14
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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