Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 3–7

Temperament and character in women with postpartum depression

Authors

  • A. Josefsson
    • Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesLinköping University
  • C. Larsson
    • Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesLinköping University
  • G. Sydsjö
    • Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health SciencesLinköping University
  • P.-O. Nylander
    • Division of Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience and LocomotionUniversity of Linköping
    • Department of PsychiatryCounty Hospital
Original contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00737-006-0159-3

Cite this article as:
Josefsson, A., Larsson, C., Sydsjö, G. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2007) 10: 3. doi:10.1007/s00737-006-0159-3

Summary

Objective: To investigate whether women with postpartum depression differ in personality traits from healthy postpartum women, healthy controls from the normal Swedish population and non-postpartum women with major depression.

Methods: Forty-five women with postpartum depression were compared with 62 healthy postpartum women, 62 age-matched, healthy, non-postpartum women from a normal sample and 74 non-postpartum women with major depression from a clinical sample. The edinburgh postnatal depression scale was used in order to screen for postpartum depression. A clinical diagnostic interview was done including a rating with the Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale. Personality i.e. temperament and character was measured by the temperament and character inventory.

Results: Harm avoidance (HA) was higher (p < 0.001) and self-directedness (SD) scored lower (p < 0.001) in women with postpartum depression compared to healthy postpartum women. These differences were the most important differences between these two groups. Women with postpartum depression scored lower (p = 0.001) in cooperativeness (CO) and higher (p = 0.019) in self-transcendence (ST) compared to healthy postpartum women. Women with postpartum depression scored overall similar to women with major depression.

Conclusion: High HA and low SD can be seen as vulnerability factors for developing a depression and especially in a stressful situation as childbirth.

Keywords: Postpartum; depression; temperament; character; personality.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006