Ruth Brookman

Research StudentRuth Brookman 2

Research Program: Speech and Language

Thesis Title

Depression and anxiety in the postnatal period: An examination of maternal speech, the mother-infant interaction and infant developmental outcomes

Research Project

I am 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 my 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.


  • B. Soc. Sc. (Psychology)(Honours), Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • Grad. Dip. Psy. (with Distinction), Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • B. App. Sc. (Speech Pathology), University of Sydney, Australia
  • Dean's Award for Academic Excellence

Contact Ruth
Phone+61 2 9772 6660
LocationWestern Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)