Learned resourcefulness, social support, and perinatal depression in Chinese mothers

Fei Wan Ngai, Sally Wai Chi Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Postnatal depression is a major health problem that can have detrimental effects on infants' psychosocial development; however, there are few longitudinal studies on the protective role of learned resourcefulness against the development of postnatal depression. OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to examine the relationships among learned resourcefulness, social support, stress, and depressive symptoms across the perinatal period and to determine the mediating role of learned resourcefulness and social support between stress and depressive symptoms in the perinatal period. METHODS: A longitudinal design was used. A convenience sample of 170 first-time Chinese mothers completed the assessment during pregnancy and were followed up at 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum. The Self-Control Schedule, Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Survey, Social Readjustment Rating Scale, and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were used. Path analysis was employed. RESULTS: Learned resourcefulness had a direct impact on depressive symptoms and mediated the effect of stress on depressive symptoms during pregnancy and at 6 weeks postpartum. Social support had a direct impact on depressive symptoms and mediated the effect of stress on depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Learned resourcefulness and social support directly predicted depressive symptoms at 6 months postpartum. DISCUSSION: Learned resourcefulness and social support serve to protect against the development of depressive symptoms and mediate the relationship between stress and depressive symptoms in the perinatal period. Culturally competent healthcare should be developed to equip women with learned resourcefulness skills and foster support network to combat the stress of new motherhood, thereby minimizing the risk of perinatal depression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalNursing Research
Volume61
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chinese mothers
  • learned resourcefulness
  • perinatal depression
  • social support
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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