The relationship between depressive symptoms following premature birth, mothers' coping style, and knowledge of infant development

M. Veddovi*, D. T. Kenny, F. Gibson, J. Bowen, D. Starte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between ways of coping, factual knowledge of infant development, means of acquiring information about infants and depressive symptoms for a group of mothers at the time of their premature infant's discharge home. Thirty mothers and their well premature singleton infants were enrolled during the newborn period. Two-thirds were first-time mothers. For this group, maternal depressive symptoms were predicted by lower reported use of informal, socio-cultural modes of gaining information about infants, more escape-avoidance coping, and less accurate maternal knowledge of infant development. These three factors accounted for 48.1% of the total variance in depressive symptomatology on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. These relationships were not associated with the premature infants' characteristics or other maternal factors (age, education and occupation). The data suggest that educating mothers of premature infants about infant development may be protective against the development of depressive symptoms in the postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Volume19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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