The Psychosocial Work Environment and Maternal Postpartum Depression
- First Online:
- 242 Downloads
Postpartum depression is a debilitating mental disorder affecting women after childbirth. This study examined the correlates of postpartum depression at 11 weeks after childbirth, focusing on work-related stressors and applying the job demand–control–support model.
Investigators recruited a prospective cohort of 817 employed Minnesota women when hospitalized for childbirth in 2001. Trained interviewers collected data in person and by telephone at enrollment and 5 and 11 weeks postpartum from three Minneapolis and St. Paul hospitals.
Results of hierarchical regression analysis showed that worse depression scores (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) were associated with higher psychological demands, lower schedule autonomy, and lower perceived control over work and family. Perceptions of control mediated the relationships of coworker support and schedule autonomy with postpartum depression scores. Study findings showed no significant buffering effects for decision latitude; however, coworker support and decision latitude appear to act as functional substitutes in reducing postpartum depressive symptoms.
These findings raise questions about the applicability of the job demand–control–support model to postpartum women or to postpartum depression. Future research could assess the impact of the interaction between the work and home environment on maternal postpartum depression.
KeywordsDemand–control–support model Job control Psychosocial factors Postpartum depression Maternal welfare
- 4.American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. 4th ed. Washington, DC: Author; 1994.Google Scholar
- 11.US Bureau of Labor Force Statistics. Labor force participation of mothers with infants in 2003. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved September 13, 2005 from: http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2004/apr/wk3/art04.htm; 2004
- 12.Dye JL. Fertility of American Women: June 2004. Current Population Reports, P20–555. US Census Bureau, Washington DC; 2005.Google Scholar
- 13.Breese McCoy SJ, Martin Beal J, Watson GH. Endocrine factors and postpartum depression: A selected review. J Reprod Med 2003;48:402–8.Google Scholar
- 15.Pearlin LI. The stress process revisited: reflections on concepts and their interrelationships. In: Aneshensel CS, Phelan JC, editors. Handbook of the sociology of mental health. New York: Kluwer; 1999. p. 395–415.Google Scholar
- 20.Karasek RA, Theorell T. Healthy work, stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: Basic Books; 1990.Google Scholar
- 21.Kossek EE, Lautsch BA, Eaton SC. Flexibility enactment theory: implications of flexibility type, control, and boundary management for work-family effectiveness. In: Kossek EE, Lambert SJ, editors. Work and life integration: organizational, cultural, and individual perspectives. New Jersey: Erlbaum; 2005. p. 243–61.Google Scholar
- 26.Karasek R. Job content questionnaire. Los Angeles: University of Southern California, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; 1985.Google Scholar
- 27.Quinn R, Staines G. The 1977 quality employment survey. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan; 1979.Google Scholar
- 28.Bond J, Galinsky E, Lord M, Staines G, Brown K. Beyond the parental leave debate: the impact of laws in four states. New York: Family and Work Institute; 1991.Google Scholar
- 29.Mardberg B, Lundberg U, Frankenhaeuser M. The total workload of male and female white collar workers: construction of a questionnaire and a scoring system. (Rep. No. 714). Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholm University, Department of Psychology; 1990.Google Scholar
- 30.Minnesota Department of Human Services. Minnesota at-home infant child care program. Retrieved September14, 2005 from http://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Legacy/DHS-4140-ENG.; 2005
- 33.Aiken LS, West SG. Multiple regression: testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage; 1991.Google Scholar
- 34.Greene WH. Econometric analysis. 5th ed. New Jersey: Pearson Education; 2003.Google Scholar
- 36.Sobel ME. Asymptotic intervals for indirect effects in structural equation models. In: Leinhart S, editor. Sociological methodology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 1982. p. 290–312.Google Scholar
- 38.Sargent LD, Terry DJ. The effects of work control and job demands on employee adjustment and work performance. J Occup Organ Psychol 1998;71:219–36.Google Scholar