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Health Care Women Int. 1998 Jan-Feb;19(1):83-94.

The relationship between maternal role attainment and postpartum depression.

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School of Nursing, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville 62026-1066, USA.


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between postpartum depressive symptoms and maternal role attainment. This study was part of a larger project using a nonrandomized, longitudinal, descriptive design. A convenience sample of 168 primiparous women in their last trimester of an uncomplicated pregnancy were recruited from community hospital-sponsored prenatal classes in central Illinois, and 136 women completed questionnaires 9-14 weeks after delivery. Postpartum depression was measured with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Three measures of maternal role attainment were the Myself as Mother Scale, My Baby Scale, and Perceived Competence Scale. Postpartum depression demonstrated a significant, negative relationship to all measures of maternal role attainment (r = -.20 to -.35, p < .01). The occurrence of postpartum depression and its negative influence on maternal role attainment emphasize the need to assess all new mothers for depression 2-3 months after delivery.

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