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J Fam Psychol. 2011 Jun;25(3):375-83. doi: 10.1037/a0023790.

Relationship adjustment, depression, and anxiety during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

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University of Colorado at Boulder, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Boulder, CO 80309-0345, USA.


The associations between relationship adjustment and symptoms of depression and anxiety were evaluated in a sample of pregnant married or cohabiting women (N = 113) who were at risk for perinatal depression because of a prior history of major depression. Women completed self-report measures of relationship adjustment, depressive symptoms, and anxiety symptoms monthly during pregnancy and for the first six months following the birth of their child. Multilevel modeling was used to examine concurrent and time-lagged within-subjects effects for relationship adjustment and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Results revealed that (a) relationship adjustment was associated with both depressive symptoms and anxiety symptoms in concurrent analyses; (b) relationship adjustment was predictive of subsequent anxiety symptoms but not subsequent depressive symptoms in lagged analyses; and (c) depressive symptoms were predictive of subsequent relationship adjustment in lagged analyses with symptoms of depression and anxiety examined simultaneously. These results support the continued investigation into the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between relationship functioning and depressive and anxiety symptoms in women during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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