Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 53 Issue 2 (June 1980), Pages 95-192

A predictive study of post‐partum depression: Some predisposing characteristics (pages 161-167)

Postnatal depression was investigated by the antenatal screening of a sample of women for factors that might be predictive of later disturbance. The women were assessed when they were 36 weeks pregnant on anxiety, hostility, and locus of control. Predictions were tested by assessing depression 6 weeks after birth. Both high anxiety and high hostility were positively associated with postnatal depression. Intropunitiveness was not significantly related to subsequent depression. The most depressed women were those who had been the more extrapunitive as well as the more hostile.

Women who perceived themselves as less in control of their lives were likely to rate high on depression postnatally, as were younger women. There were indications that some women may have been experiencing depression before the birth. Depression was not significantly associated with parity, gravidity, race, social class or marital status.

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