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Anxiety and depression in pregnant mothers and partners in New Zealand

Anxiety and depression throughout the antenatal period are associated with a multitude of adverse consequences. To date, little research has been conducted with both mothers and partners during the antenatal period particularly within a New Zealand context. The aims of this study were to identify rates of elevated anxiety and depression among antenatal mothers and partners, gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between anxiety and depression within couples and to examine risk factors for antenatal anxiety and depression. 57 couples, half recruited from the community and half from an antenatal inpatient unit, completed the PSAS, STAI, and EPDS. Results indicated that mothers and partners had almost identical rates of state (29.1% and 27.8% respectively) and trait anxiety (20.0% and 20.4%) and co-morbid anxiety and depression (10.5% for each gender). Furthermore, mothers experienced on average significantly higher trait anxiety and depression than partners. All measures were significantly correlated as were couples’ anxiety and depression. Although not significant on their own, risk factors for mothers’ anxiety and depression included pregnancy complications, low income level, belonging to an ethnic minority and young age. Partners’ risk factors for anxiety included belonging to an ethnic minority, low level of education and earlier stages of gestation. Only ethnicity was a significant risk factor for state anxiety after controlling for the others. Implications of this research are discussed.
Type of thesis
Haeata, M. R. J. (2011). Anxiety and depression in pregnant mothers and partners in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5335
University of Waikato
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