The relationship between maternal attitudes and symptoms of depression and anxiety among pregnant and postpartum first-time mothers

Archives of Women s Mental Health (Impact Factor: 2.16). 03/2014; 17(3). DOI: 10.1007/s00737-014-0424-9
Source: PubMed


Two studies examined the relationship between maternal attitudes and symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. In the first study, a measure of maternal attitudes, the Attitudes Toward Motherhood Scale (AToM), was developed and validated in a sample of first-time mothers. The AToM was found to have good internal reliability and convergent validity with cognitive biases and an existing measure of maternal attitudes. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses determined that the measure comprises three correlated factors: beliefs about others' judgments, beliefs about maternal responsibility, and maternal role idealization. In the second study, we used the AToM to assess the relationship between maternal attitudes and other psychological variables. The factor structure of the measure was confirmed. Maternal attitudes predicted symptoms of depression and anxiety, and these attitudes had incremental predictive validity over general cognitive biases and interpersonal risk factors. Overall, the results of these studies suggest that maternal attitudes are related to psychological distress among first-time mothers during the transition to parenthood and may provide a useful means of identifying women who may benefit from intervention during the perinatal period.

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Available from: Jacques P. Barber, Apr 13, 2015
    • "In examining the relation between maternal anxiety and depression and the development of early regulation problems, it might be especially relevant to differentiate first-time mothers and those with prior deliveries, because primiparous women tend to experience more distress during transition to motherhood (Sockol et al. 2014) and lack experience to handle difficult situations with the infant. In fact, some (e.g. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Maternal depression has been associated with excessive infant crying, feeding and sleeping problems, but the specificity of maternal depression, as compared with maternal anxiety remains unclear and manifest disorders prior to pregnancy have been widely neglected. In this prospective longitudinal study, the specific associations of maternal anxiety and depressive disorders prior to, during and after pregnancy and infants' crying, feeding and sleeping problems were investigated in the context of maternal parity. Methods: In the Maternal Anxiety in Relation to Infant Development (MARI) Study, n = 306 primiparous and multiparous women were repeatedly interviewed from early pregnancy until 16 months post partum with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview for Women (CIDI-V) to assess DSM-IV anxiety and depressive disorders. Information on excessive infant crying, feeding and sleeping problems was obtained from n = 286 mothers during postpartum period via questionnaire and interview (Baby-DIPS). Results: Findings from this study revealed syndrome-specific risk constellations for maternal anxiety and depressive disorders as early as prior to pregnancy: Excessive infant crying (10.1%) was specifically associated with maternal anxiety disorders, especially in infants of younger and lower educated first-time mothers. Feeding problems (36.4%) were predicted by maternal anxiety (and comorbid depressive) disorders in primiparous mothers and infants with lower birth weight. Infant sleeping problems (12.2%) were related to maternal depressive (and comorbid anxiety) disorders irrespective of maternal parity. Conclusions: Primiparous mothers with anxiety disorders may be more prone to anxious misinterpretations of crying and feeding situations leading to an escalation of mother-infant interactions. The relation between maternal depressive and infant sleeping problems may be better explained by a transmission of unsettled maternal sleep to the fetus during pregnancy or a lack of daily structure and bedtime routine with the infant. Maternal disorders prior to pregnancy require more attention in research and clinical practice.
    Child Care Health and Development 10/2015; DOI:10.1111/cch.12292 · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    • "rożenie, niepokój, lęk, żal – indywidualnych stylów radzenia sobie, które wielokrotnie z racji ograniczeń, w tym hospitalizacji wymagają zmiany i reorganizacji dotychczasowego życia, planów oraz wartości. Wielu badaczy podkreśla, iż ciąża zagrożona jest czynnikiem pojawienia się stresu psychologicznego oraz wystąpienia silnych, negatywnych emocji (Sockol i in. 2014, 199–212; Semczuk i in. 2004, 417–424). Może to w sposób znaczący zaburzać codzienne funkcjonowanie rodziców. Kobiety w porównaniu z mężczyznami charakteryzują się wyższym poziomem pobudzenia nerwowego, niepokoju, drażliwości, a także bardziej obniżonym nastrojem, ujawniają też cechy depresji i załamania (Semczuk i in. 2004, 417–424)."
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    ABSTRACT: A prenatal diagnosis of a congenital disorder is a traumatic moment in the life of a family , especially the pregnant woman. This is why a supportive attitude from not only the husband and medical personnel, but also the wider spectrum of social support is so important. The goal of the undertaken research was to assess the relationship between the course of pregnancy and the subjectively perceived stress and social support. We examined 30 women (15 – the experimental group – women in high-risk pregnancies characterized by an impaired development of the child, the remaining 15 women – the control group of mothers whose children were prematurely born and had a very low birth weight). All of the examined women were hospitalized in the Obstetric Clinic of Gdańsk Medical University. We used the following research methods: Ustrukturowany Wywiad (Polish for Structured Interview) by M. Bidzan, M. Świątkowska-Freund and K. Preis, Nieland Social Support Questionnaire adapted to Polish language by E. Bielawska-Batorowicz, Perceived Stress Questionnaire by Levenstein adapted to Polish by M. Plopa. Results: Women diagnosed with a complicated pregnancy where the development of the child was impaired reached higher levels of stress than the mothers whose children were prematurely born. The contentment resulting from the obtained social support, especially from the husband or partner, lowered the levels of negative emotions such as worrying, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, perception of tension and pressure. It also lowered the overall levels of stress and increased the perceived happiness.
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    Archives of Women s Mental Health 02/2015; 18(4). DOI:10.1007/s00737-015-0511-6 · 2.16 Impact Factor
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