The narrative envelope consists of parental conversational practices and narratives for the communication with their infants. It is considered a universal parental care practice related to the psychological function of promoting the foundation for the infant´s construction of the self, perceiving himself as individual. This study aims to investigate the narrative envelope of postpartum depressed (PPD) and nondepressed mothers, in order to describe the characteristics of this care system in a sample of low-income Brazilian mothers and the influence of the maternal disorder on this care practice. The present work is part of a multidisciplinary research on "Postpartum depression: the genesis of the PPD and its effects on development", supported by FAPESP (process 06/59192). Interactional situations of 75 mother-infant pairs at four months will be analysed in videotape records. The analysis focus on the duration and frequency of those interactions as well as on the subject and affective aspects of the narratives and the self-orientation model indicated by the pattern of maternal statements. Further analysis will search for associations among results related to the narrative envelope and data of several studies made as part of the larger research project.
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