J Korean Acad Nurs.  2011 Aug;41(4):444-450. 10.4040/jkan.2011.41.4.444.

Infants' Temperament and Health Problems according to Maternal Postpartum Depression

  • 1College of Nursing & The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. ksbang@snu.ac.kr


Mothers' postpartum depression is a worldwide health concern that produces compromising effects on their infants. This study was conducted to compare the infants' temperament and health problems according to the presence of maternal postpartum depression.
Data were collected from May to October in 2009. The sample was 137 mothers at one month postpartum. The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to assess depressive symptoms.
At one month postpartum, 22.6% of mothers were classified as having postpartum depression. Infants of depressed mothers were more frequently classified as difficult temperament infants. They showed lower scores on the amenability, rhythmicity and persistency and higher scores on activity in temperament. Also, infants of depressed mothers reported more infant health problems at one months. Maternal depression showed significant negative correlations with family functioning, social support and marital satisfaction.
Study findings show that postpartum maternal depression is associated with infants' temperament and health, and thus screening and early interventions for postpartum depression would promote the health of both the mother and infant.


Postpartum depression; Infant; Mothers; Temperament; Health

MeSH Terms

Depression, Postpartum/diagnosis/*psychology
Family Relations
Infant Behavior/*psychology
Infant Welfare
Maternal Behavior/psychology
Mother-Child Relations
Postpartum Period
Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
Social Support
Time Factors

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