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Johansson, M. (2019). Postpartum depression, depressive symptoms and parental stress in mothers and fathers 25-30 months after child birth: A family perspective. (Doctoral dissertation). Växjö: Linnaeus University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Postpartum depression, depressive symptoms and parental stress in mothers and fathers 25-30 months after child birth: A family perspective
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis was to explore the prevalence of postpartum depression and parental stress 25 - 30 months after delivery. The first study was conducted 25 months after delivery. The aims were to investigate the prevalence of postpartum depression and the associations between postpartum depression and parental stress in two areas of study; spouse relationship problems and feelings of incompetence in parenthood. Seven hundred mothers and 646 fathers answered a questionnaire. The results showed that the prevalence of depressive symptoms was more than 11% for mothers and nearly 5% for fathers and that parents with postpartum depressive symptoms experienced more feelings of incompetence and spouse relationship problems than parents without postpartum depressive symptoms.

The second study included 176 mothers and 146 fathers. The aims of the study were to determine the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms, and if parental stress and attachment style affected postpartum depression in mothers and fathers 30 months after birth. The prevalence rate of postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers was 14.9 %, while for fathers it was 11.5 %. We observed a difference with the preoccupied and fearful attachment style in terms of parents with postpartum depressive symptoms and parents without postpartum depressive symptoms. However, the differences were not significant. Furthermore, parental stress outperformed attachment styles as a predictor for postpartum depressive symptoms in both the mothers and the fathers.

Study III was a qualitative interview study explored the lived experiences of mothers and fathers, their experiences of postpartum depression, and parental stress. Five prominent themes were identified. Both mothers and fathers described experiences of inadequacy as the most stressful. Experiences of problems during pregnancy or a traumatic delivery contributed to depressive symptoms and anxiety in mothers, and affected fathers’ wellbeing.

Thus, identifying depressive symptoms with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depressive Scale (EPDS), mothers described varying experiences of child health care support. Depressive symptoms seemed to affect the spouses’ relationships. Experiences of emotional problems and insecure upbringing in the parents’ family of origin may contribute to vulnerability that led to long-term problems for mothers.

The overall conclusion of this thesis was that postpartum depression and parental stress had a significant impact on the everyday lives and that postpartum depression does not seemed to decline 25- 30 months after childbirth.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att undersöka förekomsten av postpartum depression och föräldrastress 25 – 30 månader efter förlossningen. Den första studien genomfördes 25 månader efter förlossningen. Studien undersökte förekomsten av postpartum depression och föräldrastress hos 700 mödrar och 646 fäder. Förekomsten av postpartum depression var mer än 11% hos mödrarna och nästan 5 % hos fäderna.

Studien visade att föräldrar med postpartum depression upplevde mer föräldrastress samt känslor av inkompetens i föräldraskapet och relationsproblem i parrelationen än föräldrar utan postpartum depression. Studie II inkluderade 176 mammor och 146 pappor. Syftet med studien var att uppskatta förekomsten av postpartum depression, och om föräldrastress och anknytningsstil påverkade postpartum depression hos mammor och pappor 30 månader efter förlossningen. Förekomsten av postpartum depression hos mödrarna var 14. 9 % och 11. 5 % för fäderna.

Resultatet visade en skillnad, dock ej signifikant mellan anknytningsstilarna preoccupied och fearful, avseende föräldrar med postpartum depression och föräldrar utan postpartum depression. Föräldrastress överträffade dock anknytningsstil som prediktor för postpartum depression för både mammor och pappor. Resultat tyder på att depressiva symtom ökar efter det första året särskilt hos fäderna.

Study III var en intervjustudie som undersökte mammor och pappors erfarenheter av postpartum depression och föräldrastress efter förlossningen. Fem viktiga teman identifierades. Både mammor och pappor beskrev upplevelser av otillräcklighet, som mest stressande. Graviditetsproblem och / eller en traumatisk förlossning medverkade till postpartum depression och ångest hos mödrarna och påverkade fäderna negativt. Trots att Barnhälsovården identifierat postpartum depression med Edinburgh postnatal depression skalan (EPDS), erhöll mödrarna inte alltid stöd och behandling. Postpartum depression påverka relationen till maka / make och både mödrar och fäder beskrev relationsproblem till partner. Mödrar med emotionella problem och otrygghet i ursprungsfamiljen hade en ökad sårbarhet för depressiva symtom. Den konkluderande slutsatsen var att depressiva symptom och föräldrastress hade en signifikant påverkan på föräldrarnas vardag och att PPD inte verkade minska 25–30 månader efter förlossningen.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2019. p. 82
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 355
Postpartum depression, Depressive symptoms, Parental stress, Child health care, Postpartum depression, Depressiva symtom, Föräldrastress, Barnhälsovården
National Category
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-88902 (URN)978-91-88898-74-6 (ISBN)978-91-88898-75-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-08-30, 14:07 (Swedish)
Available from: 2019-09-02 Created: 2019-09-02 Last updated: 2019-10-04Bibliographically approved
Johansson, M., Svensson, I., Stenström, U. & Massoudi, P. (2017). Depressive Symptoms and Parental Stress in Mothers and Fathers 25 Months after birth. Journal of Child Health Care, 21(1), 65-73
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Depressive Symptoms and Parental Stress in Mothers and Fathers 25 Months after birth
2017 (English)In: Journal of Child Health Care, ISSN 1367-4935, E-ISSN 1741-2889, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 65-73Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms, feelings of incompetence and spouse relationship problems and their mutual relations. Data from a Swedish parent–infant population-based cohort 25 months after childbirth was used. A questionnaire containing Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and a modified Swedish Parental Stress Questionnaire (SPSQ) regarding depression and parental stress was answered by 646 fathers and 700 mothers. Parents with depressive symptoms experienced more feelings of incompetence and spouse relationship problems than parents without depressive symptoms. The prevalence of depressive symptoms (EPDS 􏰀 12) was more than11% for mothers and nearly 5% for fathers in the sample, 25 months after childbirth. The result indicated that feelings of incompetence and spouse relationship problems could be important constructs for understanding parental stress and depressive symptoms in the parents of young children. In conclusion, it is important that Child Health Care is attentive to both mothers’ and fathers’ depressive symptoms and parental stress after the first year.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017
Depressive symptoms, parent–child relationship, parent–spouse, parental stress
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-59549 (URN)10.1177/1367493516679015 (DOI)000397413600008 ()2-s2.0-85034617692 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5334-7011

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