Att vänta barn: relationstillfredsställelse, självförmåga och förväntningars påverkan på depressions- och ångestsymtom hos blivande mödrar
Sammanfattning: Prenatal depression and anxiety are common and affect 12.8% and 10.4% of expectant mothers, respectively. In addition to mental suffering, the symptoms can also have a negative impact on the unborn and later born child. Both are also strongly predictive of postnatal depression (PND). The majority of previous research has primarily focused on the occurrence of depression and anxiety separately and also mainly in the postnatal period. The current study aimed to investigate maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms, and possible comorbidity, during the prenatal period, as well as whether these symptoms are predicted by individual self-efficacy and expectations of parenthood, and relationship satisfaction. The current study is a pilot for the longitudinal child- and family development project “Evidence Over Conviction”, and aims therefore also at highlighting methodological limitations and difficulties of the large-scale project. A total of 84 expectant mothers in the third trimester of pregnancy answered a web-based questionnaire concerning demographic information, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, self-efficacy and expectations for parenthood, and - where applicable - relationship satisfaction. Over 15% of expectant mothers reported high levels of both depressive and anxiety symptoms. Depressive symptoms and so-called depressive equivalents were equally frequent and correlated. Comorbidity between anxiety and depression symptoms was high. Level of education was a strong, negative predictor of symptoms. The results highlight the need to bring attention to broadly defined depressive symptoms and anxiety symptoms already in the prenatal period, in order to alleviate the ongoing distress but also to prevent increased risk of mental illness postnatally. The maternal healthcare system ought to be particularly responsive to those who may also have other difficulties, such as low socioeconomic status.
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