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Depressive symptoms postpartum among parents are associated with marital separation: A Swedish cohort study
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 Surgical Sciences. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Medicinska och farmaceutiska vetenskapsområdet, centrumbildningar mm, Centre for Clinical Research, County of Västmanland.
5Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
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2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 42, no 7, 660-668 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aims: To study whether there is an association between dyadic consensus, depressive symptoms, and parental stress during early parenthood and marital separation 6–8 years after childbirth, among couples in Sweden.

Methods: At baseline, 393 couples were included. The couples answered three questionnaires, including: Dyadic consensus at 1 week post-partum, depressive symptoms at 3 months post-partum and parental stress at 18 months post-partum. The parents’ addresses were followed up after 6–8 years, to study the marital separation rate.

Results: We found, 6–8 years after childbirth, that 20% of study couples were separated. Separation was associated with less dyadic consensus (mothers p < 0.001; fathers p < 0.001), depressive symptoms (mothers p = 0.022; fathers p = 0.041) and parental stress (mothers p = 0.002; fathers p = 0.040). The hazard ratio (HR) for marital separation was related to dyadic consensus for fathers (HR 0.51; 95% CI 0.28–0.92), depressive symptoms for mothers (HR 1.69; 95% CI 1.01–2.84) and fathers (HR 1.92; 95% CI 1.12–3.28), and the mother’s parental stress (HR 2.16; 95% CI 1.14–4.07).

Conclusions: Understanding how dyadic consensus, depressive symptoms and parental stress are associated with marital separation is important for health professionals. It could be useful in developing interventions to provide parents with adequate support during pregnancy and early parenthood. This knowledge is also important for the public. Parents should get support in pregnancy and while bringing up children, which may help prevent marital separation and optimize conditions for the children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 42, no 7, 660-668 p.
National Category
Other Health Sciences
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237085DOI: 10.1177/1403494814542262ISI: 000344066600016PubMedID: 25053465OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-237085DiVA: diva2:766323
Available from: 2014-11-26 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically 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)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Kerstis, BirgittaEdlund, BirgittaSylven, SaraAarts, Clara

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