Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem in the pregnant women with significant implications for mother and infant’s health. The content of maternal antenatal representations may be related to their depressive symptoms during the perinatal period.
This study aimed to compare maternal mental representations between depressed and non-depressed groups of pregnant women.
In a causal-comparative study, participants were selected using an inverse stratified sampling method among pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy (depressed mothers = 93, and non-depressed mothers = 97). All participants completed Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), Dépistage Anténatal de la Dépression Postnatale (DADP), and semi-structure Interview-R after the consent form. Independent- samples t-test, Two-way ANOVA, and Pearson correlation coefficient were applied to compare maternal mental representations subscales between groups, using SPSS-26.
The results showed significantly fewer positive ratings for all subscales of Interview-R, including child, partner, self as mother, and mother as own mother in the depressed group (P < 0.05). In the group of depressed mothers, 57% and 32% of the correlations among the representations of child/self as mother and child/partner were significant, while in the non-depressed group, 28% and 48% of the correlations between child/self as mother and child/ partner were significant (P < 0,05), respectively. The characteristics of self as mother and own mother showed significant differences in the depressed group compared to the non-depressed group (P < 0.05).
Depressed pregnant mothers are less likely to differentiate themselves from their children compared to non-depressed pregnant mothers. Besids, depressed pregnant mothers perceive themselves as mothers more positively than their own mothers, while the opposite is true for non-depressed pregnant mothers.
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