Advertisement

Psychological Approaches to Distress and Depression Following Childbirth

  • Jane Littlewood
  • Nessa McHugh
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with the various psychological explanations that have been forwarded as explanations of depression and distress arising during pregnancy and/or following childbirth. The chapter commences with a consideration of psychotherapeutic approaches to depression and distress. These approaches emphasise the importance of early childhood experiences, particularly, in this instance, of a woman’s perceptions concerning her relationship with her own mother, to the onset of depression and distress during pregnancy and following childbearing. The many critiques of the psychotherapeutic approach will also be discussed in this part of the chapter.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P. and Teasdale, J. D. (1978) ‘Learned Helplessness in Humans: Critique and Reformulation.’ Journal of Abnormal Psychology 87: 49–74.Google Scholar
  2. Baker-Miller, J. (1976) Towards a New Psychology of Women (London: Pelican).Google Scholar
  3. Bannister, D. and Fransella, F. (1986) Inquiring Man: The Psychology of Personal Constructs, 3rd edn (London: Croom Helm).Google Scholar
  4. Beck, A. T. Ward, C. H., Mendelson, M., Mock, J. and Erbaugh, J. (1961) ‘An Inventory for Measuring Depression.’ Archives of General Psychiatry 4: 561–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Brady-Fryer, B. (1994) Becoming the Mother of a Preterm Baby. In Field, P. A. and Marck, P. B. (eds) (1983) Uncertain Motherhood: Negotiating the Risks of the Childbearing Years (London: Sage).Google Scholar
  6. Brown, R. (1986) Social Psychology (New York: Free Press)Google Scholar
  7. Deutsch, H. (1947) The Psychology of Women (New York: Grune and Stratton).Google Scholar
  8. Dimitrovsky, L., Perez-Hirshberg, M. A. and Itskowitz, R. (1987) ‘Locus of Control and Depression Pre and Post Partum.’ Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 5: 235–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ever, D. E. (1992) Mother/Infant Bonding: A Scientific Fiction (Newhaven and London: University Yale Press).Google Scholar
  10. George, R. J. D. (1992) ‘Coping with Death Anxiety — Trying to Make Sense of it AIL’ AIDS 6: 1037–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Gilbert, P. (1992) Depression: the Evolution of Powerlessness (Hove: Lawrence Erlbaum).Google Scholar
  12. Gross, R. D. (ed.) (1990) Psychology: Science of Mind and Behaviour (London: Hodder and Stoughton).Google Scholar
  13. Haste, H. (1993) The Sexual Metaphor (Hemel Hempstead: Harvester/ Wheatsheaf).Google Scholar
  14. Holmes, T. H. and Rahe, R. H. (1967) ‘The Social Readjustment Rating Scale.’ Journal of Psychosomatic Research II: 213–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Irigaray, L. (1980) ‘When our Lips Speak Together.’ Signs 6(1): 66–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jannson, B. (1964) ‘Psychic Insufficiencies Associated with Childbearing.’ Acta Psychiatrica Scandanavia Suppl. 220(9): 141.Google Scholar
  17. Jenkins, E. (1989) ‘Handling Loss: A Systems Framework.’ Palliative Medicine 3: 97–104.Google Scholar
  18. Kelly, G. A. (1955) The Psychology of Personal Constructs, vols 1 and 2 (New York: Norton).Google Scholar
  19. Klaus, M. H. and Kennell, J. H. (1976) Maternal-Infant Bonding (St Louis: C. V. Mosby).Google Scholar
  20. Klein, M. (1942) The Psycho-Analysis of Children (London: Hogarth/Institute of Psycho-Analysis).Google Scholar
  21. Lewinsohn, P. M., Steinmetz, J. L. and Larsen, D. W. (1982) ‘Depression-Related Cognitions: Antecedent or Consequences.’ Journal of Abnormal Psychology 90: 213–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Llewelyn-Davies, M. (1978) Maternity: Letters from Working Women (London: Virago).Google Scholar
  23. Nillson, A. and Almgren, P. E. (1970) ‘Paranatal Emotional Adjustment: A Prospective Study of 165 Women.’ Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia Suppl. 220: 9–41.Google Scholar
  24. Niven, C. A. (1992) Psychological Care for Families Before, During and After Birth (London: Butterworth/Heinemann).Google Scholar
  25. Price, J. (1988) Motherhood: What it Does to your Mind (London: Pandora).Google Scholar
  26. Raphael-Leff, J. (1991) Psychological Processes of Childbearing (London: Chapman & Hall).Google Scholar
  27. Raphael-Leff, J. (1993) Pregnancy: The Inside Story (London: Sheldon Press).Google Scholar
  28. Rhodes, N. and Hutchinson, S. (1994) ‘Labour Experiences of Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors.’ Birth 21: 213–19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Robson, K. and Kumar, R. (1980) ‘Delayed Onset of Maternal Affection After Childbirth.’ British Journal of Psychiatry 136: 347–53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Rotter, M. (1966) ‘Generalised Expectancies for Internal versus External Control of Reinforcement.’ Psychology Monographs 30(1): 1–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rutter, M. (1966) Maternal Deprivation Re-Assessed (Harmondsworth: Penguin).Google Scholar
  32. Seligman, M. E. P. (1976) Helplessness: On Depression Development and Death (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman).Google Scholar
  33. Sherr, L. (ed.) (1989) Death, Dying and Bereavement (Oxford: Blackwell Scientific).Google Scholar
  34. Simmons, R. (1987) ‘Self-Esteem in Adolescence.’ In Holness T. and Yardley K. (eds) Self and Identity: Perspectives Across the Life Span (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
  35. Sluckin, W., Herbert, M., and Sluckin, A. (1983) Maternal Bonding (Oxford, Blackwell).Google Scholar
  36. Smail, D. (1991) ‘Towards a Radical Environmentalist Psychology of Help.’ Psychologist 2: 61–5.Google Scholar
  37. Ussher, J. M. (1991) Women’s Madness: Misogyny or Mental Illness (London: Harvester/Wheatsheaf).Google Scholar
  38. Verbrugge, L. (1985) ‘Gender and Health: An Update on Hypotheses and Evidence.’ Journal of Health and Social Behaviour 26: 156–82).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wallston, K. A. and Wallston, B. S. (1981) ‘Health Locus of Control Scales.’ In Lefcourt, H. M. (ed.) Research with the Locus of Control Construct (New York: Academic Press).Google Scholar
  40. Welldon, E.V. (1988) Mother, Madonna, Whore: The Idealisation and Denigration of Motherhood (London: Guildford Press).Google Scholar
  41. Winnicott, D. W. (1965) The Family and Individual Development (London: Tavistock).Google Scholar
  42. Wolkind S. N., Kruk, S. and Chaves, L. P. (1976) ‘Childhood Separation Experiences and Psychological States in Primiparous Women: Preliminary Findings.’ British Journal of Psychiatry 128: 391–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Jane Littlewood and Nessa McHugh 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jane Littlewood
    • 1
  • Nessa McHugh
    • 2
  1. 1.Goldsmiths’ CollegeUniversity of LondonUK
  2. 2.De Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

Personalised recommendations