Paternal transition to parenthood: postpartum depression and parenting stress

Risultato della ricerca: Otherpeer review


Background: Transition to parenthood is an important life event and a developmental crisis increasing vulnerability to psychological disorders. Postpartum depression and parenting distress are the most common psychological disturbances involving both mothers and fathers. This paper aims to explore maternal and paternal experience of transition to parenthood and compared them, to investigate the relationship between parenting distress and risk of postpartum depression, in mothers and fathers.Methods: one-hundred couples of parents were invited to compile the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Parenting Stress Index-Short Form in the first month of children life. The proposed research is a first step of a longitudinal study which aims to evaluate the course of postpartum depression and parenting distress and their association with child development and parental psychological health, including affect regulation and attachment assessment.Results: study sample reported very high levels of parenting distress and a risk of postpartum depression (25,3% for mothers and 9,3% for fathers) which is significantly more high in mothers sample. A significant negative correlation between parenting distress and the risk of postpartum depression emerged, both in mothers and in fathers group. Associations between distress dimensions across mothers and fathers emerged. Chi square also suggested that fathers who have not assisted partum appear more significantly subjected to parenting distress.Discussion: The first month after partum represents a critical phase of parents life and it could be considered a developmental crisis characterized by stress and mood alterations. Fathers experience many difficulties in the adaptation to a parenting role which could distort the adaptive reaction to stressors and predispose the subject to high psychological and socio-relational vulnerability. Although, the negative relationship between parenting stress and paternal postpartum depression remains unclear.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


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