The course and interrelationship of maternal and paternal perinatal depression

We aim to describe the course and interrelationship of depression in both mothers and fathers from the third trimester of pregnancy through 6 months postpartum

James F. Paulson

2016

Scholarcy highlights

  • The aims of the study were to describe course of depression in both mothers and fathers from the third trimester of pregnancy through 6 months postpartum and to examine the relationship between maternal and paternal depression
  • A recent meta-analysis of paternal depression found that 100 % of articles that reported on the correlation between maternal and paternal depression found elevated depressive symptomatology in one partner to be significantly associated with corresponding increases in the other's
  • Of the 80 mother–father pairs who enrolled in the study, two families were lost to follow-up by 6 months postpartum
  • Recent evidence suggests that paternal depression poses similar risks for children and may be linked to maternal depression
  • In addition to providing information on depressive course, the parallel measurement in both parents was used to examine the interaction between paternal and maternal depression across this time period, information that may be important for screening, prevention, and treatment
  • Our data do not explain why maternal depression was affected by earlier paternal depression but not vice versa, most of our study mothers remained at home with their newborns for longer periods of time than did the fathers, who most often returned to work soon after the birth
  • Future studies examining maternal or paternal depression should include measures of both partners, as the present findings affirm a growing body of evidence showing the correlation between partners’ depressive symptoms

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