The impact of paternity leave and paternal involvement in child care on maternal postpartum depression

Abstract : Objectives: The aim of the study was to explore the impact of paternity leave and paternal involvement and notably paternal participation in infant care on the development of symptoms of maternal postpartum depression. Method: At 2–5 days postpartum, a sample of 119 couples completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), assessing postpartum depression. Mothers also completed the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). At 2 months postpartum, 4 questionnaires were completed: the EPDS, the MSPSS, the Maternal Attitude Questionnaire (MAQ), measuring cognitions relating to role change and expectations of motherhood, as well as a questionnaire assessing paternal involvement in infant care. Fathers also completed the EPDS and a questionnaire assessing paternal involvement in infant care. Results: Paternity leave was not highlighted as a significant protective factor against postpartum depression. However, the lack of paternal involvement in infant care was significantly associated with maternal depression intensity. Discussion: Our findings highlight the importance of encouraging and taking into account paternal involvement in infant care as early as possible.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 12:13:26 PM
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N. Sejourne, V. Vaslot, M. Beaumé, N. Goutaudier, H. Chabrol. The impact of paternity leave and paternal involvement in child care on maternal postpartum depression. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2012, 30 (2), pp.135-144. ⟨10.1080/02646838.2012.693155⟩. ⟨hal-02351166⟩

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