Postpartum Stress Symptoms and Child Temperament: A Follow-Up Study
Publication Date:March 2005
The aim of this research is to investigate whether postpartum stress symptoms may persist through time and whether these symptoms may he connected to temperamental characteristics of the child. The underlying hypothesis is that child temperament may both affect stress symptom persistence and itself be a stress source for the mother. The results indicated that women with chronic stress symptoms had children classified as "slow to warm-up"; in contrast, women that have shown stress symptoms only after delivery and women that have never showed stress symptoms had children classified as "easy."
KEY WORDS: childbirth, PTSD, postpartum disorder, child temperament.
American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th edition). Washington, DC: Author.
Appleby, L, Gregoire, A, Platz, C, Prince, M, & Kumar, R (1994). Screening women for high risk of postnatal depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 38, 539-545.
Areias, MEG, Kumar, R, Barros, H, & Figureiedo, E (1996). Correlates of postnatal depression in mothers and fathers. British Journal of Psychiatry, 169, 36-41.
Ayers, S & Pickering, AD (2001). Do women get posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of childbirth? A prospective study of incidence. Birth, 28, 2, 111-118.
Bailham, D & Joseph, S (2003). Post-traumatic stress following childbirth: a review of the emerging literature and directions for research and practice. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 8, 2, 159-168.
Ballard, CG, Stanley, AK, & Brockington, IF (1995). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after Childbirth. British Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 525-528.
Bookman-Livingood, A, Dean, P, & Smith, BD (1983). The depressed mother as a source of stimulation for her infant. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 3, 369-375.
Campbell, SB & Cohon, JF (1991). Prevalence and correlates of postpartum depression in first time mothers. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(4), 594-599.
Chabrol, H, Teissedre, F, Saint-Jean, M, Teisseyre, N, Roge, B, & Mullet, E (2002). Prevention and treatment of post-partum depression: A controlled randomized study on women at risk. Psychological Medicine, 32, 6, 1039-1947.
Cooper, PJ, Murray, L, Wilson, A, & Romaniuk, H (2003). Controlled trial of the shortand long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression. 1. Impact on maternal mood. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 5, 412-419.
Creedy, DK, Shochet, IM, & Horsfall, J (2000). Childbirth and the development of acute trauma symptoms: incidence and contributing factors. Birth, 27, 2, 104-111.
Czarnocka, J & Slade, P (2000). Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms following childbirth. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 35-51.
DeMier, RL, Hynan, MT, Harris, HB, & Manniello, RL (1996). Perinatal stressors as predictors of symptoms of posttraumatic stress in mother and infants at high-risk, Journal of Perinatology, 16, 276-280.
Derryberry, D & Rothbarth, MK (1997). Reactive and effortful processes in the organization of temperament. Development and Psychopathology, 9, 633-652.
Di Blasio, P & Ionio, C (2001). Elaborazione emotiva e sintomatologia da stress postpartum. Psicologia della salute, 2, 27-44.
Di Blasio, P & Ionio, C (2002). Childbirth and narratives: How do mothers deal with their childbirth? Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 17, 2, 143-151.
Dodge, KA (1990). Developmental psychopathology in children of depressed mothers. Developmental Psychology, 26, 1, 3-6.
Edhborg, M, Seimyr, L, Lundh, W, & Windstroem, AM (2000). Fussy child - difficult parenthood? Comparison between families with "depressed" mother and nondepressed mother 2 months postpartum. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 18, 3, 225-238.
Fones, C (1996). Posttraumatic stress disorder occurring after painful childbirth. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 184, 195-196.
Fontaine, KR & Jones, LC (1997). Self esteem, optimism, and postpartum depression. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53, pp. 59-63.
Goldsmith, HH, Buss, AH, & Lemery, KS (1997). Toddler and childhood temperament: expanded content, stronger genetic evidence, new evidence for the importance of environment. Developmental Psychology, 33, 505-529.
Gotlib, IH, Whiffen, VE, Wallace, PM, & Mount, JH (1991). Prospective investigation of postpartum depression: factors involved in onset and recovery, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(2): 122-132.
Gregoire, AJP, Kumar, R, Everitt, B, & Studd, JWW (1996). Transdermal oestrogen for treatment of severe postnatal depression, The Lancet, 347: 930-933.
Hall, LA, Kotch, JB, Browne, D, & Rayens, MK (1996). Self-Esteem as a mediator of the effects of stressors and social resources on depressive symptoms in postpartum mothers, Nursing Research, 45, 4: pp. 231-238.
Harris, B, Lovett, L, Smith, J, Read, G, Walker, R, & Newcomber (1996). Cardiff puerperal mood and hormone study. III. Postnatal Depression at 5 to 6 weeks postpartum, and its hormonal correlates across the peripartum period, British Journal of Psychiatry, 168: 739-744.
Hynan, MT (1998). The perinatal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) questionnaire (PPQ), in R. Wood & O.P. Zalaquette (Eds.) Evaluating Stress: A handbook of resources (vol. 2). London: Lanham, Md, The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Keogh, E, Ayers, S, & Francis, H (2002). Does anxiety sensitivity predict post-traumatic stress symptoms following childbirth? A preliminary report. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 31, 4, 145-155.
Kruckman, L & Smith, S (1998). An introduction to postpartum illness. Postpartum Support International (www.iup.edu/an/postpartum/momhelp.html).
Martinez, R, Johnston-Robledo, I, Ulsh, HM, & Chrisler, JC (2000). Singing "the baby blues": A content analysis of popular press articles about postpartum affective disturbances. Women & Health, 31, 2-3, 37-56.
Menage, J (1993). Posttraumatic stress disorders in women who have undergon obstetric and or gynecological procedures: A consecutive series of 30 cases of PTSD. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 11, 221-8.
Murray, D (1992). The impact of postnatal depression on infant development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 34, 1083-1101.
Murray, D (1996). Oestrogen and postnatal depression. The Lancet, 347: 918-919.
Murray, L (2001). How postnatal depression can affect children and their families. CPHVA conference proceedings, October 2001 20-23.
Murray, L, Cooper, PJ, Wilson, A, & Romaniuk, H (2003). Controlled trial of the shortand long-term effect of psychological treatment of post-partum depression. 2. Impact on the mother-child relationship and child outcome. British Journal of Psychiatry, 182, 5, 420^27.
Nightingale, J & Williams, RM (2000). Attitudes to emotional expression and personality in predicting post-traumatic stress disorder. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 243-254.
Noncas, R & Cohen, LS (1998). Postpartum mood disorders: Diagnosis and treatment guidelines. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 59, 34-40.
O'Hara, MW & Zekoski, EM (1988). Postpartum depression. In R. Kumar & I. F. Brockington (Eds.), Motherhood and mental illness: 2 Causes and consequences, (pp. 17-63), Guilford, Great Britain: Butterworths.
O'Hara, MW, Zekoski, EM, Phillipps, LH, & Wright, EJ, (1990). Controlled prospective study of postpartum mood disorders: comparison of childbearing and non-childbearing women. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 99, 3-15.
Prezza, M, Di Mauro, D, Giudici, MG, Violani, C, Vaccari, S, & Faustini, F (1984). Studio longitudinale sulla disforia post parto. In Montemagno U., & Zichella L. (Eds.), Psicosomatica ginecologica ed ostetrica. Bologna: Monduzzi.
Quinnel, FA & Hynan, MT (1999). Convergent and discriminant validity of perinatal PTSD questionnaire (PPQ). Journal of Traumatic Stress, 12(1), 193-199.
Reynolds, JL (1997). Post-traumatic stress disorders after childbirth: the phenomenon of traumatic birth. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 156, 831-835.
Righetti-Veltema, M, Conne-Perreard, E, Bousquet, A, & Manzano, J (1998). Risk factors and predictive signs of postpartum depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 49, 167-180.
Romans, SE, Walton, VA, McNoe, B, Herbison, GP, & Mullen, PE (1993). Otago women's health survey 30-months follow-up. I: Onset patterns of non-psychotic disorders. II: Remission patterns of non psychotic disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 167: 733-746.
Rossi, N, Bassi, L, & Delfino, MD (1992). Atteggiamento psicologico verso Ia gravidanza ed adattamento emotivo successivo al parto. Archivio di Psicologia, Neurologia e Psichiatria, 53(3), 337-355.
Rothbarth, MK & Ahadi, SA (1994). Temperament and the development of personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 55-66.
Rothbarth, MK & Bates, JE (1998). Temperament. In W. Damon, & N. Eisenberg, (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 3. Social emotional and personality development. New York: Wiley.
Seyfried, LS & Marcus, SM (2003). Postpartum mood disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 15, 3, 231-242.
Stein, G (1982). The maternity blues, in Brockington I.F., & Kumar R. (Eds), Motherhood and mental illness. New York: Grune & Stratton.
Susman, EJ, Schmeelk, KH, Ponirakis, A, & Gariepy, JL (2001). Maternal prenatal, postpartum and concurrent stressors and temperament in 3-year-olds: A person and variable analysis. Development and Psychopathology, 13, 629-652.
Thomas, A & Chess, S (1977). Temperament and development. New York: Bruner Mazel.
Thomas, A & Chess, S (1982). Temperament and follow-up to adulthood. In R. Porter, & G.M. Collins, (Eds.), Temperamental differences in Infants and Young children. New York: New York University Press.
Tronick, EZ & Gianino, A (1986). Interactive mismatch and repair: Challenge to the coping infant. Zero to Three: Bulletin of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs, 5, 1-6.
Walther, VN (1997). Postpartum depression: a review for perinatal social workers. Social Work Health Care, 24, 99-111.
Whiffen, VE & Gotlieb, IM (1989). Infant of postpartum depressed mothers: temperament and cognitive status. Journal of abnormal psychology, 97, 467-474.
Wijma, K, Wijma, B, & Soderquist, MA (1997). Posttraumatic Stress Disorders after childbirth: a cross sectional study. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 11(6), 587-59.
Paola Di Blasio, is a Professor of Developmental Psychology, C.R.T.I., Department of Psychology, Catholic University of Milan, Italy. Chiara Ionio, is a PhD Student there.