Are you the birth mother of a child ages 1-3? Are you currently depressed? If so, you and your child may be able to participate in a research study to help better understand how mothers with depression and their young children respond to each other while playing. Compensation provided.
STUDY PURPOSEDepression is a serious illness that affects more than 1 in 20 Americans. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad or hopeless, feeling tired or not having energy, changes in appetite or activity, and thoughts of death or suicide. The purpose of this study is to help researchers better understand how depressed mothers and their young children respond to each other while playing. Researchers hope their findings will lead to better ways to prevent depression in children with a family history of mood disorders.
COULD THIS STUDY BE RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD?
- Children ages 1-3 years old
- Mother is biological mother, age 21 to 45
- Mother is currently depressed
- Child is healthy and typically developing (reaching their growth and developmental milestones)
WHAT PARTICIPANTS CAN EXPECTParticipation involves an initial phone interview with the study team to find out if the mother and child are eligible, followed by 6-7 in-person visits over 3 years for qualified participants. Each in-person visit takes about 1-2 hours. During the first visit each year, mothers will complete interviews and questionnaires. During the second visit each year, the participant and their child will wear a head cap called NIRS that measures brain response while playing together. This visit will be video recorded for research purposes. If the child is 5 years old in the third year, he or she will also undergo fMRI scanning. Both NIRS and fMRI are painless, non-invasive tests.
IRB:STUDY19050043B - Brain-Behavior Synchrony in Depressed Mothers and Very Young Children
MEET THE RESEARCHER
Judith Morgan, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Morgan specializes in child and adolescent psychology. Her particular specialty is understanding how emotional and social development in childhood can influence the risk for depression.
MEET THE COORDINATOR
Britt Holdaway, MSW, LSW, is a Research Specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a graduate of SUNY Geneseo and the University of Buffalo. She works on several studies involving child and adolescent brain development and the biological and social risk factors for depression.