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Title: The role of personality and self-control within perinatal mental health difficulties
Author: Tinton, Hannah F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 2436
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis submission is composed of two chapters. The first is a systematic review exploring the role of personality in the development of perinatal depression and anxiety. This review aimed to deepen the understanding of the personality traits associated with the development of perinatal anxiety and depression, and to explore whether certain patterns of personality traits were predictive of perinatal mental health difficulties. A total of 26 papers met the eligibility criteria and were subject to a quality assessment and review. Specific personality traits were identified as predictors of perinatal depression and anxiety, namely high scores on scales of neuroticism, perfectionism, and introversion. In addition to these vulnerability factors, protective personality factors were identified, these included higher scores on scales of openness to experience, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. This body of research is in its infancy, further prospective research is required with more consistent methodological approaches. The second chapter sought to explore the applicability of the self-control model, proposed by Lynch, Hempel and Clark (2015), within perinatal mental health difficulties. A cross-sectional design was implemented to explore whether an over controlled coping style was predictive of mental health difficulties. 253 women within the perinatal period were recruited through NHS and non-NHS sites. The prevalence of mental health difficulties within the study sample was 31%. The hypothesis that women with mental health difficulties would have higher scores of over control was not supported. There were, significant differences between clinical and non-clinical participants on several subscales of self-control indicating that participants within the clinical group had higher scores of detachment and lower scores of inhibition. When entered into a logistic regression analysis, these findings were confirmed: the total score of self-control was not predictive of membership to the clinical group; however, higher scores of detachment and lower scores of inhibition were predictive of mental health difficulties. These findings remained significant when controlling for previously identified risk factors such as age, income, and perfectionism. Clinical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Supervisor: Hempel, Roelie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available