Predictors of maternal depression in the first year postpartum: marital status and mediating role of relationship quality

AKINCIGIL Ayse, et al
Journal article citation:
Social Work in Health Care, 49(3), March 2010, pp.227-244.
Taylor and Francis
Place of publication:
Philadelphia, USA

This paper looks at how women’s prenatal relationship with the father of the baby is associated with maternal depression during the first year postpartum. Identifying risk and protective factors has been shown to assist in the prevention of postnatal depression. Existing literature has documented the associations between marital status and maternal depression within the first year postpartum. This study was a secondary analysis of public-use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Using data that was representative of urban non-marital births in the United States with a large over-sample of non-marital births, the study investigated the association of maternal depression with not only marital status but also relationship quality with the father of the baby. The results showed that quality is independently associated with maternal depression after controlling for marital status and other variables that have been documented as risk factors for maternal depression. In addition, relationship quality explained away the associations between marital status and maternal depression. After controlling for relationship quality, single women were no more likely to be depressed compared to married or cohabiting women.

Subject terms:
interpersonal relationships, marriage, longitudinal studies, partners, postnatal depression, risk;
Content type:
United States
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