ERIC Number: ED238553
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Antecedents and Consequences of Maternal Adaptation in the Postpartum Period. Project Prepare.
Bradley, Christine F.
A prospective, longitudinal investigation was made of psychological aspects of pregnancy, birth, and the first year postpartum. The majority of participants were Caucasian (90 percent) and Chinese-Canadian (5 percent) men and women and their infant children. Adult participants completed a series of psychological and attitude measures selected to evaluate personality characteristics, attitudes, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, marital and social adjustment, and life events. Assessment of infants included measures taken in the hospital on the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment, maternal assessment of infant temperament at 6 months, assessment of cognitive and motor development at 12 months, and a laboratory analogue of mother/infant attachment at 12 months. Findings indicated that method of birth was unrelated to maternal adjustment, maternal feelings, or mother/infant attachment. Women exhibiting high levels of either anxiety or depression during pregnancy, in the hospital, and during the postpartum period were found to differ significantly from those exhibiting low levels. Responses to psychological measures taken in the hospital demonstrated the emotional lability of women in the immediate postpartum period. No significant differences were found in infant development and attachment when infants of high- and low-anxious depressed mothers were compared. The psychological functioning of fathers was quite similar to that of their partners. It was concluded that anxiety and depressive affect during pregnancy and following birth is maladaptive and that psychological intervention should be incorporated into health care for pregnant women. (Scale items and tables of data are appended.) (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of National Health and Welfare, Ottawa (Ontario).
Authoring Institution: Vancouver Health Dept. (British Columbia).; British Columbia Univ., Vancouver.
Identifiers: Breastfeeding; British Columbia; Canada; Parenting; Postpartum