Parental acceptance, postpartum depression, and maternal sensitivity: Mediating and moderating processes

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 )
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Abstract: Mothers (n=92), fathers (n=84), and their infants (60% male) participated in a longitudinal study of postpartum depression and maternal sensitivity. Mothers completed questionnaire measures of remembered parental acceptance, depressive symptoms, and infant distress to novelty and limits. Mothers and partners reported on marital aggression and avoidance. Maternal sensitivity was observed in the laboratory at 6 months. Characteristics of mothers, partners, and infants combined to predict postpartum depression and maternal sensitivity. Remembered parental rejection predicted postpartum depressive symptoms with prenatal depression controlled; self-esteem mediated this effect. Paternal acceptance buffered against postpartum depression when infants were highly reactive and when partners were aggressive. Paternal acceptance reduced the impact of postpartum depression on maternal sensitivity; having an aggressive marital partner exacerbated the effect.

Additional Information

Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 80-93
Language: English
Date: 2003
postpartum depression, maternal sensitivity, remembered parental acceptance & rejection, infant distress, marital aggression & avoidance, self-esteem, mothers, partners

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