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Infant Behav Dev. 2011 Apr;34(2):339-50. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.02.005. Epub 2011 Mar 12.

Prenatal depression predicts postpartum maternal attachment in low-income Latina mothers with infants.

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1
Center for Child & Human Development, Georgetown University, 3300 Whitehaven St. NW, Washington, DC 20057, United States. dfp2@georgetown.edu

Abstract

Although maternal attachment is an important predictor of infant attachment security and other developmental outcomes, little is known about the formation of maternal attachment in the first few months of the infant's life, particularly among ethnic minority mothers. The current study examined the predictors of postpartum maternal attachment in a sample of 217 Latina women enrolled in a perinatal depression prevention trial. Mothers' attachment to their infants was measured at 6-8 weeks postpartum using the Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale. A variety of predictors of early attachment were explored including: depressive symptoms during pregnancy, pregnancy intention, feelings about the pregnancy, and the quality of the partner relationship. The strongest predictor of lower maternal attachment was depressive symptoms late in pregnancy; pregnancy intention was marginally predictive of attachment, with lower scores being associated with unwanted pregnancies. The study fills a critical gap in our understanding of the role of depressive symptoms during pregnancy in shaping mothers' early attachment to their infants.

PMID:
21402409
DOI:
10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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