Original Article

Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 89-96

First online:

Ruminative Thinking as a Predictor of Perceived Postpartum Mother–Infant Bonding

  • Dana MüllerAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum Email author 
  • , Tobias TeismannAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • , Beate HavemannAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • , Johannes MichalakAffiliated withInstitute of Psychology, Universität Hildesheim
  • , Sabine SeehagenAffiliated withDepartment of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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Abstract

Ruminative thinking has been identified as a vulnerability factor for the onset and maintenance of depression. Furthermore, depressed persons who are high in rumination report more difficulties in intimate relationships. It is still unclear, however, whether rumination is predictive of postpartum depressive symptoms as well as impairments in the mother–infant relationship. Possible associations were investigated in a short-term longitudinal study. Controlling for age, pre- and postnatal depressive symptoms, ruminative thinking during pregnancy was a significant predictor of mother-reported impairments in the mother–infant relationship. Yet, rumination was not predictive of postpartum depressive symptoms. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords

Depression Rumination Mother–infant bonding