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Relations between prenatal role quality and dual-earner parents' postnatal depression are rarely studied. We prospectively examined relations among prenatal role quality, life satisfaction, and dual-earner parents' depression after the birth of their first child. Ninety-nine couples provided data between 20 and 40 weeks gestation and 8 and 10 postnatal weeks. We tested two hypotheses: 1) Mothers' prenatal depression would increase postnatally compared with fathers' and 2) Greater prenatal work-family strain, role disparity and intensity, and less life satisfaction would relate to greater postnatal depression. Fathers' pre- to postnatal depression increased while mothers' decreased. Poorer role quality and less life satisfaction were associated with increased postnatal depression, after controlling for prenatal depression, age, and gender.

KEY WORDS: dual-earners, depression, role quality, transition to parenting.


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JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.

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