Understanding the connection between attachment trauma and maternal self-efficacy in depressed mothers
Infant Mental Health Journal
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Brazeau, N., Reisz, S., Jacobvitz, D., & George, C. (2017). Understanding the connection between attachment trauma and maternal self-efficacy in depressed mothers. Infant Mental Health Journal https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21692
Maternal self-efficacy predicts sensitive and responsive caregiving. Low maternal self-efficacy is associated with a higher incidence of postpartum depression. Maternal self-efficacy and postpartum depression can both be buffered by social support. Maternal self-efficacy and postpartum depression have both been linked independently, albeit in separate studies, to the experience of violent trauma, childhood maltreatment, and spousal abuse. This study proposed a model in which postpartum depression mediates the relation between attachment trauma and maternal self-efficacy, with emotional support as a moderator. Participants were 278 first-time mothers of infants under 14 months. Cross-sectional data were collected online. Mothers completed questionnaires on attachment trauma, maternal self-efficacy, postpartum depression, and emotional support. A moderated mediation model was tested in a structural equation modeling framework using Mplus’ estimate of indirect effects. Postpartum depression fully mediated the relation between trauma and maternal self-efficacy. Emotional support moderated only the pathway between postpartum depression and maternal self-efficacy. Attachment trauma's implications for maternal self-efficacy should be understood in the context of overall mental health. Mothers at the greatest risk for low maternal self-efficacy related to attachment trauma also are those suffering from postpartum depression. Emotional support buffered mothers from postpartum depression, though, which has implications for intervention and future research.
attachment trauma, postpartum depression, maternal self-efficacy, emotional support
This research was made possible by a Medical Humanities New Investigator Award from the Wellcome Trust (Grant WT103343MA).
Wellcome Trust (103343/Z/13/A)
Embargo Lift Date
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21692
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/270258