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Associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy, mother-to-infant bonding failure, and postnatal depressive symptoms

Abstract

This study examined the associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy, mother-to-infant bonding failure, and postnatal depressive symptoms at 1 month postnatal. This study also examined if these relationships would be mediated by antenatal depressive symptoms. This study was a prospective cohort study that investigated effects between the third trimester of pregnancy and 1 month after childbirth. The Japanese version of the Index of Spouse Abuse (ISA), the Japanese version of the Mother-Infant Bonding Scale (MIBS), and the Japanese version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) were used to measure IPV during pregnancy, bonding failure with infants, and depressive symptoms during pregnancy and the postnatal period respectively. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to find the associations between those four variables. The final path model of the SEM showed good fit with the data. IPV during pregnancy was associated with mother-to-infant bonding failure at 1 month postnatal, whereas IPV during pregnancy was not significantly associated with postnatal depressive symptoms at 1 month postnatal. In addition, this study demonstrated that the associations between IPV during pregnancy, mother-to-infant bonding failure, and postnatal depressive symptoms at 1 month postnatal were mediated by antenatal depressive symptoms. The results of this study indicated the need for interventions for IPV and psychological health care for abused pregnant women to prevent antenatal depressive symptoms in prenatal health settings. Those interventions by perinatal health professionals would help to prevent bonding failure with infants and postnatal depressive symptoms after childbirth.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the UNIVERS foundation and JSPS KAKENHI grant no. 25670964, Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research. The authors would like to express their deepest appreciation to the participants in this study for their cooperation. In addition, this paper contains the part of the concepts of the doctoral dissertation of The University of Tokyo.

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Correspondence to Megumi Haruna.

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Kita, S., Haruna, M., Matsuzaki, M. et al. Associations between intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy, mother-to-infant bonding failure, and postnatal depressive symptoms. Arch Womens Ment Health 19, 623–634 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-016-0603-y

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Keywords

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Mother-to-infant bonding failure
  • Antenatal depressive symptoms
  • Postnatal depressive symptoms