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Fussy child - difficult parenthood? Comparisons between families with a 'depressed' mother and non-depressed mother 2 months postpartum

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The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal postnatal 'depression' in a family influences the parents' perceptions of their child's temperament and their experiences of parenthood. Maternal depression was measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and parents' perceptions of the child's temperament by the Infant Characteristic Questionnaire (ICQ) at 2 months. One year postpartum, parents' experience of parenthood was investigated by Experience of Motherhood/Fatherhood Questionnaire (EMQ/EFQ). The results indicated that 'depressed' mothers and their partners perceived their children as more temperamentally 'difficult' than couples in families with a non-depressed mother. Mothers who had been 'depressed', but not their partners, were less satisfied with experiences of parenthood at 1 year than parents in families without postnatal 'depression'. Our findings suggested a relationship between parental ratings of a 'difficult' child with maternal 'depression'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Woman and Child Health, Division of Reproductive and Perinatal Health Care, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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