Advertisement

Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 87–94 | Cite as

Association between parental depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with the infant

  • Birgitta KerstisEmail author
  • Clara Aarts
  • Carin Tillman
  • Hanna Persson
  • Gabriella Engström
  • Birgitta Edlund
  • John Öhrvik
  • Sara Sylvén
  • Alkistis Skalkidou
Original Article

Abstract

Impaired bonding with the infant is associated with maternal postpartum depression but has not been investigated extensively in fathers. The primary study aim was to evaluate associations between maternal and paternal depressive symptoms and impaired bonding with their infant. A secondary aim was to determine the associations between parents’ marital problems and impaired bonding with the infant. The study is part of a population-based cohort project (UPPSAT) in Uppsala, Sweden. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum and the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 6 months postpartum were completed by 727 couples. The prevalence of impaired bonding was highest among couples in which both spouses had depressive symptoms. Impaired bonding was associated with higher EPDS scores in both mothers and fathers, as well as with experiencing a deteriorated marital relationship. The association between maternal and paternal impaired bonding and the mothers’ and fathers’ EPDS scores remained significant even after adjustment for relevant confounding factors. Depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum are associated with impaired bonding with the infant at 6 months postpartum for both mothers and fathers. It is critical to screen for and prevent depressive symptoms in both parents during early parenthood.

Keywords

Bonding Depressive symptoms Fathers Infant Mothers Relationship 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank all the mothers and fathers who took part in the study.

Author’s contributions

Birgitta Kerstis, Clara Aarts, Carin Tillman, Hanna Persson, John Öhrvik, Gabriella Engström, Birgitta Edlund, Sara Sylvén, and Alkistis Skalkidou participated in data analysis, drafting and critical manuscript review. John Öhrvik provided statistical expertise. All authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript.

References

  1. Ahlström BH, Skärsäter I, Danielson E (2010) The meaning of major depression in family life: the viewpoint of the ill parent. J Clin Nurs 19:284–293CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Ainsworth MS (1989) Attachments beyond infancy. Am Psychol 44:709CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR®. Am Psychiatr PubGoogle Scholar
  4. Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ, Van Ijzendoorn MH, Juffer F (2003) Less is more: meta-analyses of sensitivity and attachment interventions in early childhood. Psychol Bull 129:195CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennett HA, Einarson A, Taddio A, Koren G, Einarson TR (2004) Prevalence of depression during pregnancy: systematic review. Obstet Gynecol 103:698–709CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bradley R, Slade P (2011) A review of mental health problems in fathers following the birth of a child. J Reprod Infant Psychol 29:19–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brockington I (2001) A screening questionnaire for mother-infant bonding disorders. Arch Women’s Ment Health 3:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brockington I, Fraser C, Wilson D (2006) The postpartum bonding questionnaire: a validation. Arch Women’s Ment Health 9:233–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Connell R (2009) Om genus. Daidalos, GöteborgGoogle Scholar
  10. Courtenay WH (2000) Constructions of masculinity and their influence on men’s well-being: a theory of gender and health. Soc Sci Med 50:1385–1401CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cox JL, Holden JM, Sagovsky R (1987) Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. Br J Psychiatry 150:782–786CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Crouch M, Manderson L (1995) The social life of bonding theory. Soc Sci Med 41:837–844CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Edhborg M, Matthiesen A-S, Lundh W, Widström A-M (2005) Some early indicators for depressive symptoms and bonding 2 months postpartum—a study of new mothers and fathers. Arch Women’s Ment Health 8:221–231Google Scholar
  14. Edhborg M, Nasreen H-E, Kabir ZN (2011) Impact of postpartum depressive and anxiety symptoms on mothers’ emotional tie to their infants 2–3 months postpartum: a population-based study from rural Bangladesh. Arch Women’s Ment Health 14:307–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Edward K-l, Castle D, Mills C, Davis L, Casey J (2014) An integrative review of paternal depression. Am J Men’s health. doi: 10.1177/1557988314526614 Google Scholar
  16. Field T (1995) Massage therapy for infants and children. J Dev Behav Pediatr 16:105–111CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Försäkringskassan [Swedish social insurance agency] (2012) Föräldrapenning-försäkringkassan.http://www.forsakringskassan.se/privatpers/foralder/barnet_fott/foraldrapenning
  18. Hanlon C et al (2008) Detecting perinatal common mental disorders in Ethiopia: validation of the self-reporting questionnaire and Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. J Affect Disord 108:251–262CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Johansson T (2011) Fatherhood in transition: paternity leave and changing masculinities. J Fam Com 11:165–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaplan HI, Sadock BJ (1995) Comprehensive textbook of psychiatry/VI. Wiliams & Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  21. Kerstis B, Engstrom G, Sundquist K, Widarsson M, Rosenblad A (2012) The association between perceived relationship discord at childbirth and parental postpartum depressive symptoms: a comparison of mothers and fathers in Sweden. J Med Sci 117(4):430–438, NovGoogle Scholar
  22. Kerstis B, Berglund A, Engstrom G, Edlund B, Sylven S, Aarts C (2014) Depressive symptoms postpartum among parents are associated with marital separation: A Swedish cohort study. Scand J Pub Health. Jul 22 [Epub ahead of print]Google Scholar
  23. Krishnakumar A, Buehler C (2000) Interparental conflict and parenting behaviors: a meta-analytic review. Fam Relat 49:25–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kumar RC (1997) Anybody’s child: severe disorders of mother-to-infant bonding. Br J Psychiatr 171:175–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lewis J (2001) The decline of the male breadwinner model: implications for work and care. Soc Pol 8(2):152–169CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lundh W, Gyllang C (1993) Use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in some Swedish child health care centres. Scand J Caring Sci 7:149–154CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Martin LA, Neighbors HW, Griffith DM (2013) The experience of symptoms of depression in men vs women: analysis of the national comorbidity survey replication. JAMA Psychiatry 70:1100–1106, Chicago, IllCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Massoudi P, Hwang CP, Wickberg B (2013) How well does the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale identify depression and anxiety in fathers? A validation study in a population based Swedish sample. J Affect Disord 149(1–3):67–74, JulCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Matthey S, Barnett B, Kavanagh D, Howie P (2001) Validation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for men, and comparison of item endorsement with their partners. J Affect Disord 64:175–184CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Matthey S, Barnett B, Howie P, Kavanagh DJ (2003) Diagnosing postpartum depression in mothers and fathers: whatever happened to anxiety? J Affect Disord 74:139–147CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Moehler E, Brunner R, Wiebel A, Reck C, Resch F (2006) Maternal depressive symptoms in the postnatal period are associated with long-term impairment of mother–child bonding. Arch Women’s Ment Health 9:273–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Murray L, Cooper P, Hipwell A (2003) Mental health of parents caring for infants. Arch Womens Ment Health 6(Suppl 2):S71–77CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Nelson EE, Panksepp J (1998) Brain substrates of infant–mother attachment: contributions of opioids, oxytocin, and norepinephrine. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 22:437–452CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. O’Hara MW, McCabe JE (2013) Postpartum depression: current status and future directions. Annu Rev Clin Psychol 9:379–407CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. O’Higgins M, Roberts IS, Glover V, Taylor A (2013) Mother-child bonding at 1 year; associations with symptoms of postnatal depression and bonding in the first few weeks. Arch Women’s Ment Health 16:381–389Google Scholar
  36. Papageorgiou C, Wells A (2003) An empirical test of a clinical metacognitive model of rumination and depression. Cogn Ther Res 27:261–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Patel M, Bailey RK, Jabeen S, Ali S, Barker NC, Osiezagha K (2012) Postpartum depression: a review. J Health Care Poor Underserved 23:534–542CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Paulson JF, Bazemore SD (2010) Prenatal and postpartum depression in fathers and its association with maternal depression: a meta-analysis. JAMA 303:1961–1969CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Pleck E, Pleck J (1997) Fatherhood ideals in the United States: historical dimensions. In: Lamb M (ed) The father’s role in child development. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp 33–48Google Scholar
  40. Polit DF, Beck CT (2008) Is there gender bias in nursing research? Res Nurs Health 31:417–427CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Poobalan AS, Aucott LS, Ross L, Smith WCS, Helms PJ, Williams JH (2007) Effects of treating postnatal depression on mother-infant interaction and child development systematic review. Br J Psychiatry 191:378–386CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Ramchandani PG, Stein A, O’Connor TG, Heron J, Murray L, Evans J (2008) Depression in men in the postnatal period and later child psychopathology: a population cohort study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 47:390–398PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Ramchandani PG, Psychogiou L, Vlachos H, Iles J, Sethna V, Netsi E, Lodder A (2011) Paternal depression: an examination of its links with father, child and family functioning in the postnatal period. Depress Anxiety 28:471–477PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Ramchandani PG, Domoney J, Sethna V, Psychogiou L, Vlachos H, Murray L (2013) Do early father–infant interactions predict the onset of externalising behaviours in young children? Findings from a longitudinal cohort study. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 54:56–64PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Schindler HS, Coley RL (2012) Predicting marital separation: do parent–child relationships matter? J Fam Psychol 26:499–508CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Wickberg B, Hwang C (1997) Screening for postnatal depression in a population-based Swedish sample. Acta Psychiatr Scand 95:62–66CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Widarsson M, Kerstis B, Sundquist K, Engstrom G, Sarkadi A et al (2011) Support needs of expectant mothers and fathers—a qualitative study. J Perinat Educ Winter 21(1):36–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Winnicott DW (1960) The theory of the parent-infant relationship. Int J Psychoanal 41:585–595PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. World Health Organization (2002) The world health report 2002: reducing risks, promoting healthy life. World Health OrganizationGoogle Scholar
  50. Wynter K, Rowe H, Fisher J (2013) Common mental disorders in women and men in the first six months after the birth of their first infant: a community study in Victoria. Australia J Affect Disord 151:980–985CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Yeung WJ, Sandberg JF, Davis-Kean PE, Hofferth SL (2001) Children’s time with fathers in intact families. J Marrital Fam 63:136–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Birgitta Kerstis
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Clara Aarts
    • 2
  • Carin Tillman
    • 3
  • Hanna Persson
    • 4
  • Gabriella Engström
    • 5
  • Birgitta Edlund
    • 2
  • John Öhrvik
    • 1
    • 6
  • Sara Sylvén
    • 4
  • Alkistis Skalkidou
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Clinical ResearchUppsala University, Västmanland County HospitalVästeråsSweden
  2. 2.Departments of Public Health and Caring SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Department of Women’s and Children’s HealthUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  5. 5.Christine E. Lynn College of NursingFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations