Stress and depression in mothers of failure-to-thrive children

Lynn T. Singer, Li Yu Song, Betsy P. Hill, Arthur C. Jaffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Compared 30 mothers whose children were hospitalized for failure-to-thrive (FTT) to a normative group on standardized measures of perceived stress and depression. Child and maternal medical and demographic data were also taken. Standardized developmetal and feeding assessments were done. Descriptive statistics, correlational analyses, and t tests were used to describe and examine group differences. FTT children were perceived overall as more stressful, less adaptable, more inconsolable, and more unhappy than were healthy children. Child characcteristics associated with higher maternal stress levels were higher bright weight, absence of organic disease or behavioral feeding problems, and higher IQ. Maternal self-report of depression, attachment to her child, sense of competence in parenting, social isolation, and relationship to spouse were not different from the normative sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-720
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Failure-to-thrive
  • Feeding
  • Parenting stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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