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Association between mothers' and fathers' depressive symptoms, sense of coherence and perception of their child's temperament in early parenthood in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 41, no 3, 233-239 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To examine whether there was any association between mothers' and fathers' post-partum depressive symptoms and sense of coherence and perception of their child's temperament. The hypotheses were that parents with depressive symptoms: 1) have more often a poor sense of coherence, and 2) perceive their child's temperament to be more difficult than parents without depressive symptoms. Methods: A total of 401 Swedish-speaking couples, who were the parents of children born through the years 2004-2006 in the northern part of the county of Vastmanland, Sweden, were invited to participate in the study. The parents answered 3 questionnaires including: at inclusion of the study: demographic data (n = 393 couples); at 3 months: the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Sense of Coherence Scale (n = 308 couples); and at 18 months: the Infant Characteristics Questionnaire (n = 272 couples). Results: Depressive symptoms measured at 3 months, were reported by 17.7% of mothers and 8.7% of fathers, and correlated significantly between mothers and fathers within couples (rho = 0.165, p = 0.003). Mothers and fathers with depressive symptoms had a poorer sense of coherence (p < 0.001, p < 0.001) and perceived their child's temperament as more difficult than mothers and fathers without depressive symptoms at 3 (p = 0.028, p < 0.001) and 18 months (p = 0.145, p = 0.012 respectively). Conclusions: Early parenthood has been studied thoroughly in mothers, but few studies have included fathers. Identifying problems in early parenthood could help predict later problems exhibited by the preschool child, which might be prevented by supportive programmes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 41, no 3, 233-239 p.
Keyword [en]
Child temperament, fathers, mothers, post-partum depression, sense of coherence
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201811DOI: 10.1177/1403494812472006ISI: 000318632100003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-201811DiVA: diva2:629451
Available from: 2013-06-17 Created: 2013-06-17 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Depressive Symptoms among Mothers and Fathers in Early Parenthood
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Depressive Symptoms among Mothers and Fathers in Early Parenthood
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aims: The overall aims were to study depressive symptoms among mothers and fathers in early parenthood and how depressive symptoms are related to dyadic consensus (DCS), sense of coherence (SOC), perceiving of the child temperament, separation within the couple and bonding to the infant.

Methods: Study I-III was based on the BiT-study, a longitudinal project where 393 couples answered 3 questionnaires including instruments measuring DCS at one week after childbirth, depressive symptoms at 3 months and parental stress at 18 months after childbirth. Study IV was based on the UPPSAT-study, a population based cohort project, where 727 couples answered questionnaires measuring depressive symptoms at 6 weeks and 6 months after childbirth, and impaired bonding at 6 months after childbirth.

Results: In the BiT-study, 17.7% of the mothers and 8.7% of the fathers scored depressive symptoms at 3 months after childbirth, using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) cut-off of ≥10. There was an association between depressive symptoms and less consensus (DCS), and the parents partly differed regarding which areas of their relationship they perceived that they disagreed about. Parents with depressive symptoms had a poorer SOC and perceived their child as more difficult than parents without depressive symptoms. Among the couples, 20% were separated 6-8 years after childbirth. Separation was associated with less dyadic consensus, more depressive symptoms and parental stress. In the UPPSAT-study, 15.3% of the mothers and 5.1% of the fathers scored depressive symptoms 6 weeks after childbirth, using the EPDS cut-off of ≥10. Further, there was an association between impaired bonding at 6 months and the parents’ depressive symptoms, as well as experience of deteriorated relationship with the spouse.

Conclusions and clinical implications: Health professionals need the knowledge that depressive symptoms are common in both mother and fathers in early parenthood. It is also important to understand how depressive symptoms are associated to dyadic consensus, SOC, separation and impaired bonding in order to optimize conditions for the whole family. This knowledge is also important for the public, so those who are pregnant and new parents as well as the society are aware that there might be problems in early parenthood as depressive symptoms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 75 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1060
Keyword
depressive symptoms, early parenthood, fathers, gender, health promoting, mothers
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237060 (URN)978-91-554-9125-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-02-06, Samlingssalen, Ingång 29, Västmanlands sjukhus, Västerås, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Kerstis, BirgittaEdlund, BirgittaAarts, Clara

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