Postnatal depressive symptoms mediate the relation between prenatal role overload and responsiveness among first-time mothers

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Abstract

Background: This study examined the association between prenatal role overload and maternal responsiveness, with postnatal depressive symptoms as a mediator.
Methods: Participants were 127 first-time mothers in Hong Kong (M = 32.8, SD = 4.0). Participants completed data collection for self-report on prenatal role overload (Time 1) in the third trimester of pregnancy, postnatal depressive symptoms (Time 2) at 4-month postpartum and maternal responsiveness (Time 3) at 9-month postpartum. The hypothesised mediation model was tested with the Hayes PROCESS macro (model 4).
Results: Time 1 prenatal role overload was not directly predictive of later responsiveness (B = −0.06, p = .270). However, the indirect effect of Time 2 postnatal depressive symptoms in the association between Time 1 prenatal role overload and Time 3 responsiveness was significant (unstandardised effect = −0.03, 95% Bootstrapping CI = [−0.081, −0.001]; standardised effect = −0.06, 95% Bootstrapping CI = [−0.152, −0.002]).
Conclusion: Findings highlighted that more attention is required to the support provided to first-time expectant mothers to prevent role overload, and that intervention for postnatal depressive symptoms may focus on role overload. The findings also highlighted that postnatal depressive symptoms could be a promising way to increase maternal responsiveness. Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Early online dateMay 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - May 2022

Citation

Lau, E. Y. H., Li, J.-B., & Siu, C. T.-S. (2022). Postnatal depressive symptoms mediate the relation between prenatal role overload and responsiveness among first-time mothers. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2022.2070609

Keywords

  • Prenatal role overload
  • Postnatal depressive symptoms
  • Maternal responsiveness
  • First-time mothers
  • Transition to motherhood

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