A longitudinal study of postpartum depressive symptoms: multilevel growth curve analyses of emotion regulation strategies, breastfeeding self-efficacy, and social support

Abstract  
Postpartum depression is a serious health issue affecting as many as 10–15 % of postpartum women. This longitudinal study
aimed to explore how psychological variables such as cognitive emotion regulation strategies, breastfeeding self-efficacy
(BSE), and dimensions of social support predicted postpartum depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale). The
data were collected with web-based survey questionnaires between May 2008 and December 2009, in a sample of 737 new mothers.
The same questionnaire was surveyed at three points in time: 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months postpartum. Data were analyzed
using multilevel modeling (level 1, time points; level 2, person). Results showed that BSE, certain cognitive emotion regulation
strategies, perceived available support, and need for support predicted the rate of postpartum depressive symptoms. Only breastfeeding
self-efficacy predicted change in postpartum depressive symptoms. This study illustrates the importance of psychological variables
with regard to postpartum depressive symptoms. Implications for preventative efforts are discussed.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Category Original Article
  • Pages 1-10
  • DOI 10.1007/s00737-012-0274-2
  • Authors
    • Silje M. Haga, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Forskningsveien 3a, Blindern, PO Box 1094, 0317 Oslo, Norway
    • Pål Ulleberg, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Forskningsveien 3a, Blindern, PO Box 1094, 0317 Oslo, Norway
    • Kari Slinning, National Network for Infant Mental Health, Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Eastern and Southern Norway (R.BUP Oslo), PO Box 4623, Nydalen, 0405 Oslo, Norway
    • Pål Kraft, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Forskningsveien 3a, Blindern, PO Box 1094, 0317 Oslo, Norway
    • Thorbjørn B. Steen, Department of Gynecology and Department of Obstetrics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Nydalen, PO Box 0450, Oslo, Norway
    • Annetine Staff, Department of Gynecology and Department of Obstetrics, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Nydalen, PO Box 0450, Oslo, Norway
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