a1 Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine
a2 James Madison University
a3 University of Maryland, Institute for Child Study
Emotional reactivity and expressivity in infants have been previously correlated with vagal tone. This study investigated vagal tone of 3- and 6-month-old infants of depressed mothers. Vagal tone did not differ for infants of depressed versus nondepressed mothers at 3 months, but lower vagal tone was noted in infants of depressed versus nondepressed mothers at 6 months. The developmental increase in vagal tone that occurred between 3 and 6 months for infants of nondepressed mothers did not occur for infants of depressed mothers. Correlation analyses suggested that higher vagal tone at 6 months was related to more vocalizations and more optimal neurological scores.
c1 Tiffany Field, Touch Research Institute, University of Miami School of Medicine, P.O. Box 016820, Miami, FL 33101.