Differences between children of depressed and non-depressed mothers: locus of control, anxiety and self-esteem: a research note

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1992 Feb;33(2):451-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1992.tb00879.x.


Fifty-six mothers (26 depressed and 30 non-depressed) and their children were assessed on three measures: locus of control, anxiety and self-esteem. T-tests of results indicated significant differences between the groups of mothers across all three measures. There were significant differences between the two groups of children on state anxiety, total score on the self-esteem measure and social self-esteem, with the children of non-depressed mothers being lower on state anxiety and showing higher levels of self-esteem. Other aspects of self-esteem and locus of control did not show significant differences between the groups. A correlation matrix revealed that trait anxiety in the children of depressed mothers was significantly correlated with the mothers' depression, but not the mothers' anxiety. An analysis of discriminant functions found that a more anxious mood state and feelings of fear and worry were associated with the children of the depressed mothers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / psychology*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Self Concept*