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Title: Risk factors for postnatal depressive symptoms : exploring cognitive vulnerability and antenatal stress
Author: McKenzie-McHarg, Kirstie
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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Postnatal depression has become widely recognised as a debilitating disorder which may affect women during the time following childbirth. There are both long and short-term negative consequences for the mother and child. This study examines the potential role of cognitive vulnerability and antenatal stress in the development of postnatal depressive symptoms. A sample of 119 first and second time mothers completed questionnaires at two time points - during their third trimester of pregnancy, and 6-8 weeks following the birth. Cognitive vulnerability was measured in terms of maladaptive schemas, and antenatal stress in terms of state anxiety and pregnancy anxiety; postnatal depressive symptoms were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. A main effect for the self-sacrifice schema was found, together with weak predictive effects of the interactions involving the unrelenting standards schema and both measures of antenatal stress. In addition, different patterns of predictive variables were found for first and second time mothers. The concept of direction of change of depressive symptoms was also explored. The methodological limitations of the study, suggestions for future research, and the clinical implications of the findings are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available