Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Risk factors in the development of postnatal anxiety symptomatology
Author: Felter, Elisabeth
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Objectives: Research into postpartum psychopathology has focused largely on depression and only more recently has it been recognised that postnatal anxiety requires its own systematic research. As yet, only a limited number of studies have investigated interpersonal risk factors in relation to postnatal anxiety. This study aimed to further investigate the role of these factors by using a prospective design and standardised measures. Attachment theory is presented as a theoretical framework. It has been debated whether anxiety symptoms in the postpartum should be understood as a feature of postnatal depression, or as a separate clinical entity. This study used the DASS-21, a measure with good discriminant validity, to enable comparison of the risk factors in relation to depression and anxiety symptomatology. Design: Using a prospective design, 81 women were assessed in the third trimester of pregnancy and at approximately 12 weeks postpartum. At Time 1 participants completed measures of social support, relationship satisfaction, adult attachment anxiety, and experiences of parents in childhood. At Time 2 postnatal anxiety and depression symptomatology was assessed. Results: Significant associations were found between postnatal anxiety symptomatology and the majority of the interpersonal variables. In regression analyses these explained 12% of the variance in postnatal anxiety symptomatology. A similar pattern of associations was found for postnatal depression symptomatology, but only 6% of the variance in scores was explained. iii Conclusions: Despite limitations, this study provides preliminary evidence of the contribution of interpersonal risk factors to the development of postnatal anxiety symptomatology, and support for the attachment theory perspective. This indicates the potential importance of interventions that focus on interpersonal relationships. A low rate of comorbidity with depression symptomatology, and differences in the regression models, appear to support the view of postnatal anxiety and depression as being distinct but closely related. Further research is needed with more representative samples.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available