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J Affect Disord. 2009 Apr;114(1-3):216-23. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.07.015. Epub 2008 Sep 2.

Evaluation of a social support measure that may indicate risk of depression during pregnancy.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, USA.



Strong social support has been linked with positive mental health and better birth outcomes for pregnant women. Our aim was to replicate the psychometric properties of the Kendler Social Support Interview modified for use in pregnant women and to establish the inventory's relationship to depression in pregnancy.


The modified Kendler Social Support Interview (MKSSI) was evaluated using principal components analysis. The association with depression was used as an indicator of external validity and was assessed by logistic regression.


Data from 783 subjects were analyzed. One large principal component, termed "global support," (eigenvalue=6.086) represented 22.5% of the total variance. However, 6 of the 27 items (frequency of contact with spouse, siblings, other relatives, and friends, and attendance at church and clubs) had low levels of association (<0.4) and thus were excluded from suggested items for a total score. Varimax rotation of the remaining 21 items resulted in subscales that fell into expected groupings: mother, father, siblings, friends, etc. One unit and two unit increases in the global support score were associated with 58.3% (OR=0.417, 95% CI=0.284-0.612) and 82.6% (OR=0.174, 95% CI=0.081-0.374) reductions in odds for depression, respectively.


The ability of this social support scale to predict future depression in pregnancy has not yet been established due to cross-sectional design.


The MKSSI is reliable and valid for use in evaluating social support and its relationship to depression in pregnant women.

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