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J Psychosom Res. 2006 Mar;60(3):303-7.

Psychosocial health of Taiwanese postnatal husbands and wives.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



The purpose of this study was to compare the differences in stress, social support, self-esteem, and depression in fathers and mothers during the postpartum period.


Eighty-three postnatal Taiwanese couples participated in the study. Four structured questionnaires were used to analyze the differences between fathers and mothers.


For the first-time couples, fathers perceived lower social support than mothers, but the couples experienced similar depression level. Experienced mothers compared to fathers reported significantly higher stress, lower self-esteem, and higher depression. There were differential gender-based predictors of depression where mothers' depressive outcomes were related to high stress and low social support and fathers' depression were related to low self-esteem and low social support.


These findings confirm the predominance among females of postpartum depression in experienced couples in an East Asian setting. Preventive interventions might include antenatal guidance for parenting, counseling of gender role stress, and development of support groups for postnatal couples in making a smoother transition.

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