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Association between parental depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with the infant
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and 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 Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.
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2016 (English)In: Archives of Women's Mental Health, ISSN 1434-1816, E-ISSN 1435-1102, Vol. 19, no 1, 87-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Impaired bonding with the infant is associated with maternal postpartum depression but has not been investigated extensively in fathers. The primary study aim was to evaluate associations between maternal and paternal depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with their infant. A secondary aim was to determine the associations between parents’ marital problems and impaired bonding with the infant. The study is part of a population-based cohort project (UPPSAT) in Uppsala, Sweden. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum and the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 6 months postpartum were completed by 727 couples. The prevalence of impaired bonding was highest among couples in which both spouses had depressive symptoms. Impaired bonding was associated with higher EPDS scores in both mothers and fathers, as well as with experiencing a deteriorated marital relationship. The association between maternal and paternal impaired bonding and the mothers’ and fathers’ EPDS scores remained significant even after adjustment for relevant confounding factors. Depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum are associated with impaired bonding with the infant at 6 months postpartum for both mothers and fathers. It is critical to screen for and prevent depressive symptoms in both parents during early parenthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2016. Vol. 19, no 1, 87-94 p.
National Category
Other Medical Sciences Pediatrics Applied Psychology
Research subject
Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-237090DOI: 10.1007/s00737-015-0522-3ISI: 000369012400012PubMedID: 25854998OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-237090DiVA: diva2:766327
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)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-14 Created: 2014-11-26 Last updated: 2015-03-09Bibliographically approved

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Kerstis, BirgittaAarts, ClaraEdlund, BirgittaSylven, SaraSkalkidou, Alkistis

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Kerstis, BirgittaAarts, ClaraEdlund, BirgittaSylven, SaraSkalkidou, Alkistis
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Department of Public Health and Caring SciencesCentre for Clinical Research, County of VästmanlandCaring SciencesDepartment of PsychologyDepartment of Women's and Children's HealthObstetrics and Gynaecology
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