Reductions in stress and depressive symptoms in mothers of substance-exposed infants, participating in a psychosocial program.

Janet K. Kern, Emily Y. West, Bruce D. Grannemann, Tracy L. Greer, Laura M. Snell, Lori L. Cline, Toosje T. VanBeveren, Stephen F. Heartwell, Beverly A. Kleiber, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Depression profoundly impairs psychosocial functioning. Depression can have disruptive effects on a person's family, with significant impact on the psychosocial development of the children. Recent research suggests that a mother's depressive symptoms may increase parenting stress and that parenting stress may, in turn, increase depressive symptoms, with a possible negative cycle to this process. Little is known about how these two factors interact in drug-involved mothers. This study examines how the NEW CONNECTIONS intervention (a parental education and support program for drug-involved parents) acts on parental stress and symptoms of depression. METHODS: The study site was the NEW CONNECTIONS Infant Intervention Program. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) and the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) were administered to drug- and alcohol-involved mothers (N = 120) at baseline and after the intervention (Week 12). RESULTS: Four of the seven PSI domains of parenting stress showed a significant reduction (Demandingness, Competence, Isolation, and Role Restriction). Changes in four domains were significantly correlated with reductions in depressive symptoms (Competence, Isolation, Attachment, and Role Restriction). There was a significant reduction in depressive symptoms as measured by the BDI-II. CONCLUSION: Reduction in some aspects of parenting stress is associated with reduction in depressive symptoms in mothers of substance-exposed infants who participated in the NEW CONNECTIONS psychosocial intervention targeting the parent-child relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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