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Based on the analysis of cognitive style, this study demonstrated that women experiencing postnatal depression (PND) fall into two categories: (a) those with a general cognitive vulnerability to depression and for whom childbirth is a non-specific stressor; and, (b) those whose depression is directly related to the stressful demands of motherhood. Studying an Australian sample of 406 postnatal women who completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Dysfunctional Attitudes Scale (DAS-24), and the Maternal Attitudes Questionnaire (MAQ), hierarchical cluster analysis identified three groups distinguished on the basis of depressive symptomatology and/or the nature and strength of maladaptive cognitions.

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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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