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The Fatigue and Depressive Symptom Relationship in Mothers of Young Children: the Moderating Role of Mindfulness

  • Kym Riley
  • Angela Gent
  • Suzanne McLaren
  • Jeremy Caunt
  • Vasileios Stavropoulos


Previous studies have demonstrated that fatigue is a risk factor for depressive symptoms in mothers of young children. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the five facets of mindfulness moderated the relationship between fatigue and depressive symptoms in mothers of young children. A sample of 723 mothers of children aged 1–5 years completed the Fatigue Assessment Scale, the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire-Short Form. Results showed that four out of the five mindfulness facets (non-judging of inner experience, non-reactivity to inner experience, acting with awareness, and describing) weakened the relationship between fatigue and depressive symptoms. Interaction effects were found to be small. Further investigation of the unique roles of the five mindfulness facets as well as other possible protective factors and interventions that may weaken the fatigue-depressive symptom relationship in mothers of young children is warranted.


Mothers Fatigue Depressive symptoms Mindfulness Parenting 


Author Contributions

KR designed and executed the study, conducted the data analyses and data collection, and wrote the manuscript and the revisions. AG supervised the design, execution, and data collection of the study, advised with data analyses of the study, and assisted with the editing of the manuscript and the revisions. SM advised with the data analyses of the study and assisted with the editing of the manuscript and the revisions. JC assisted with the design and data collection of the study and with the editing of the first draft of the manuscript. VS advised with the data analyses of the study and with the editing of the first draft of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This research was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee of Federation University Australia.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health Sciences and PsychologyFederation University AustraliaBallaratAustralia

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