First Sounds and First Steps

We are interested in the mother-infant interaction and the impact of maternal depression and anxiety upon the quality and quantity of a mother's speech to her baby.

Maternal depression has been known to adversely affect the mother-infant interaction, maternal sensitivity, and subsequent infant developmental and attachment outcomes. However, the effects of maternal anxiety on mother-infant interactions are still inconclusive.  In addition, little is known about the impact of maternal depression and anxiety upon infant communicative feedback cues in "real time" mother-infant interactions.

The overall aim of her thesis is to examine the speech of depressed and anxious mothers to determine the effects upon infant attachment and developmental outcomes over time. This has clinical implications regarding early identification of at risk mothers, their infants and focus points for early psychological intervention with the mother-infant dyad.


Maria Christou-Ergos (opens in a new window)

Jessica Tan (opens in a new window)

Chief Investigator

Professor Denis Burnham (opens in a new window)

Partner / Funding Body
  • Western Sydney University

Human Research Ethics Committee Approval Number: H11703

For more information or to register your interest, please contact:
NameMaria Christou-Ergos
Phone+61 2 9772 6229