This issue of the journal presents three thought-provoking articles, each with unique and individual perspectives. A focus on the mother in each sensitizes us to what the effects of the external environment is for the mother, affecting the environment of the mother for the prenate. To know one, is to know the other.
The first article discusses the importance of the pregnancy period as much more than a biological one, namely, a major life transition. Thus, the authors, Drs. Côté-Arsenault, Brody, and Dombeck from the University of Rochester, School of Nursing, Rochester, New York, examine this pivotal event as an important rite of passage. Case studies are offered to illustrate the points presented.
Submitted by authors from the University of New England, Armidale, Australia is an article entitled, Differentiating Subtypes of Postnatal Depression Based on a Cluster Analysis of Maternal Depressive Cognition. Drs. Church, Dunstan, Hine, and Marks performed a quantitative study examining 406 postnatal women that had either a cognitive vulnerability to depression and those for whom depression was related to motherhood. Finding maladaptive cognitions in both populations that impact their symptoms the researchers suggest improvements in treatments that are easily assimilated into current evidence-based clinical guidelines.
Readers will find that the third article is an important contribution to those who yearn for a more detailed historical context for our field. Otto Rank may have written the foundation text in 1929, but the importance of motherhood and the influence of the womb on the developing child have been existing since the beginning of human kind. In his carefully prepared paper, Fr. Walter R. Taylor traces ancient symbols around fertility and the sacredness of birth from pre-history to the early Christian era and uses an ample amount of illustrations. This is a must-read for anyone developing university lectures on the influence that the goddess has had on our field.
It is with the current issue that I end my work as the Editor-inChief of the APPPAH Journal. For more than eight years I have treasured this responsibility, mostly because of how each article has helped to define our small, but vitally important, field. I was "birthed" (mentored) into the job by David Chamberlain with the fall 2002 issue, and eagerly took the reins for the winter issue. I would not have been as successful, nor felt the deep personal rewards, without the support of my Associate Editor for most of my tenure, Dr. Jeane Rhodes. I will remain devoted to the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health by serving on the Board of Directors and no matter what I do I will always be a voice for the unborn. And one last time, let me express my great appreciation to the researchers and creative/scholarly writers who must work tirelessly to polish their manuscripts before submission.
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.