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Title: Marital Relationship and Attachment Predictors of Postpartum Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms
Contributor(s): Clout, Danielle (author); Brown, Rhonda  (author)
Publication Date: 2016-04
Early Online Version: 2016-03-30
DOI: 10.1521/jscp.2016.35.4.322
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Abstract: The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the relationship between attachment-avoidance and -anxiety, and marital relationship quality during pregnancy to the expression of depression, anxiety, and stress postpartum. One-hundred-five women participated in a two-phase longitudinal study during the third trimester of pregnancy and at four to six months postpartum. They completed the attachment and relationship measures at Time 1, and the measures of stress, anxiety, and depression at both times. The marital relationship variables of affectional expression and dyadic satisfaction significantly predicted depression levels postpartum, whereas dyadic satisfaction significantly predicted anxiety levels. No variables predicted maternal stress levels. Mediational analyses indicated that dyadic satisfaction significantly mediated the relationships between high attachment-anxiety to worse anxiety and depression, and also the relationship between high attachment-avoidance to later anxiety and depression. The study results suggest that marital relationship quality may contribute to the development of affective symptoms in new mothers to a greater degree than working models of attachment-avoidance and -anxiety. Clinically, the results suggest that partner relationships should be a key focus for clinicians in the perinatal period. The provision of psychological interventions aimed at improving relationship functioning may help to protect new mothers against psychological distress.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35(4), p. 322-341
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1943-2771
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200409 Mental health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology

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