Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Nadorff, Danielle K.

Committee Member

Oliveros, Arazais D.

Committee Member

Armstrong, Kevin J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


Current literature establishes a relationship between maternal depression and offspring depression. Goodman and Gotlib’s “Developmental Model for Understanding Mechanisms of Transmission” suggests possible mechanisms including attachment. Prior research also demonstrates a link between fathers’ depression and pediatric psychopathology risk, but further research is needed to elucidate the effect of other non-parental caregivers. Children raised by both types of non-parental caregivers are vulnerable to attachment disruptions due to separation from their parental caregivers and the prevalence of children residing with these caregivers is on the rise in recent years. Using the Goodman and Gotlib framework, this study examined the relation between caregiver depressive symptoms and child depressive symptoms via attachment. Findings suggest that attachment indeed mediates the relation and further, that there were group differences in child’s attachment level between foster children and grandchildren.