Valentina Fenaroli, Sara Molgora, Matteo Malgaroli, Emanuela Saita

The transition to motherhood and fatherhood: trajectories of wellbeing and emotional disease

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Transition to Parenthood; Trajectories; LGMM; Perinatal Depression.

The present study explores the course of maternal and paternal perinatal depression and identifies different trajectories of wellbeing/disease during the transition to parenthood. 126 Italian first-time mothers and 126 first-time fathers completed the "Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale" at four time points: 7th-8th month of pregnancy, 40 days, 5-6 months, and 12 months after childbirth. The analyses performed throughout Latent Growth Mixture Modeling (LGMM) identified three trajectories for both males and females. Specifically, most mothers and fathers belong to the "resilience trajectory", characterized by a stable emotional wellbeing over time. A significant group of mothers and fathers shows moderate, and yet relatively stable, depressive symptoms ("distress trajectory"). Lastly, a small group of mothers and fathers develops more serious symptoms over time, with some differences between mothers ("chronic illness") and fathers ("emerging depression"). Further research on the specificity of maternal and paternal perinatal depression and its temporal course is needed. Results could have useful clinical implications.

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