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ERIC Number: EJ1051417
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Jun
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Adaptation to the Birth of a Child with a Congenital Anomaly: A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Maternal Well-Being and Psychological Distress
Nes, Ragnhild B.; Røysamb, Espen; Hauge, Lars J.; Kornstad, Tom; Landolt, Markus A.; Irgens, Lorentz M.; Eskedal, Leif; Kristensen, Petter; Vollrath, Margarete E.
Developmental Psychology, v50 n6 p1827-1839 Jun 2014
This study explores the stability and change in maternal life satisfaction and psychological distress following the birth of a child with a congenital anomaly using 5 assessments from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study collected from Pregnancy Week 17 to 36 months postpartum. Participating mothers were divided into those having infants with (a) Down syndrome (DS; n = 114), (b) cleft lip/palate (CLP; n = 179), and (c) no disability (ND; n = 99,122). Responses on the Satisfaction With Life Scale and a short version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist were analyzed using structural equation modeling, including latent growth curves. Satisfaction and distress levels were highly diverse in the sample, but fairly stable over time (retest correlations: 0.47-0.68). However, the birth of a child with DS was associated with a rapid decrease in maternal life satisfaction and a corresponding increase in psychological distress observed between pregnancy and 6 months postpartum. The unique effects from DS on changes in satisfaction (Cohen's d = -0.66) and distress (Cohen's d = 0.60) remained stable. Higher distress and lower life satisfaction at later assessments appeared to reflect a persistent burden that was already experienced 6 months after birth. CLP had a temporary impact (Cohen's d = 0.29) on maternal distress at 6 months. However, the overall trajectories did not differ between CLP and ND mothers. In sum, the birth of a child with DS influences maternal psychological distress and life satisfaction throughout the toddler period, whereas a curable condition like CLP has only a minor temporary effect on maternal psychological distress.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH), Washington, DC.; National Inst. of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Hopkins Symptom Checklist
Grant or Contract Numbers: N01-ES-75558; UO1 NS 047537-01; UO1 NS 047537-06A1