Close Relationships Predict Curvilinear Trajectories of Maternal Depressive Symptoms over the Transition to Parenthood

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Esther M. Leerkes, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Trajectories of change in maternal depressive symptoms were examined in a sample of 98 mothers across the transition to parenthood. Latent class growth modeling revealed two unique trajectories: one characterized by consistently low depressive symptoms, the other characterized by a curvilinear pattern with initially elevated symptoms that declined around the time of childbirth then returned to elevated levels by 24?weeks postpartum. Mothers who recalled less paternal care and acceptance in childhood and who reported that they engaged in more avoidance and aggression in their own romantic relationships were more likely to experience the curvilinear trajectory. Mothers who reported that their partners engaged in more avoidance in their romantic relationships were also more likely to experience the curvilinear trajectory, but especially when mothers recalled low maternal care and acceptance. Partner's aggression did not predict the trajectory of maternal depressive symptoms. Results have implications for screening for maternal postpartum depression.

Additional Information

Family Relations: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 63(2), 206-218
Language: English
Date: 2014
depressive symptoms, transition to parenthood, intimate relationships, parenting care and acceptance, longitudinal

Email this document to