PubMed | University of Utah, The Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk and University of Massachusetts Amherst
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Child development | Year: 2016
This study tested whether maternal responsiveness may buffer the child to the effects of maternal depressive symptoms on DNA methylation of NR3C1, 11-HSD2, and neuroendocrine functioning. DNA was derived from buccal epithelial cells and prestress cortisol was obtained from the saliva of 128 infants. Mothers with depressive symptoms who were more responsive and who engaged in more appropriate touch during face-to-face play had infants with less DNA methylation of NR3C1 and 11-HSD2 compared to mothers with depressive symptoms who were also insensitive. The combination of exposure to maternal depressive symptoms and maternal sensitivity was related to the highest prestress cortisol levels, whereas exposure to maternal depressive symptoms and maternal insensitivity was related to the lowest prestress cortisol levels.