Clinical Psychology 4 (2011), 1-2, 5-22

Original scientific paper

Life Satisfaction, Depression and Stress in Women during Pregnancy and First Year Postpartum – The Role of Personality Traits, Marital Satisfaction and Social Support

Ina Reić Ercegovac - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split
Zvjezdan Penezić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 5-22).pdf

Pregnancy and the postpartum period represent one of the most important life transitions for women which manifests itself in numerous changes at the personal and social level. The aim of this study was to examine some features of the psychological functioning of women (N = 202) during pregnancy and the first year postpartum. The study sample included 64 pregnant women and 138 mothers of one child aged eight to ten months. Depression, anxiety, stress, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and the level of perceived social support were assessed by questionnaires and scales. Differences between pregnant women and mothers were tested with regard to life satisfaction, marital satisfaction and level of perceived social support, stress, anxiety and depression. The study results confirmed the hypothesis of increased stress and lower marital satisfaction of mothers in relation to pregnant women. This result is consistent with previous studies of transition to parenthood, and was interpreted in the context of role conflict models. Emotional stability significantly predicted the level of stress and anxiety in pregnant women. Apart from emotional stability, marital satisfaction was also a significant predictor for depression level. For mothers, marital satisfaction significantly predicted results in all of the criterion variables.

stress, anxiety, depression, satisfaction with life and marriage, pregnant women, mothers

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