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Insecure attachment style relates to major depression in women, but its relationship to depression associated with childbirth is largely unknown. A new UK-designed measure, the Attachment Style Interview (ASI), has potential for cross-cultural use as a risk marker for maternal disorder.
To establish the reliability of the ASI across centres, its stability over a 9-month period, and its associations with social context and majoror minor depression.
The ASI was used by nine centres antenatally on 204 women, with 174 followed up 6 months postnatally. Interrater reliability was tested and the ASI was repeated on a subset of 96 women. Affective disorder was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV.
Satisfactory interrater reliability was achieved with relatively high stability rates at follow-up. Insecure attachment related to lower social class position and more negative social context. Specific associations of avoidant attachment style (angry–dismissive or withdrawn) with antenatal disorder, and anxious style (enmeshed or fearful) with postnatal disorder were found.
The ASI can be used reliably in European and US centres as a measure for risk associated with childbirth. Its use will contribute to theoretically underpinned preventive action for disorders associated with childbirth.
There is evidence that stressors may trigger the onset of a depressive episode in vulnerable women. A new UK interview measure, the Contextual Assessment of the Maternity Experience (CAME), was designed to assess major risk factors for emotional disturbances, especially depression, during pregnancy and post-partum.
Within the context of a cros-scultural study, to establish the use fulness of the CAME, and to test expected associations of the measure with characteristics of the social context and with major or minor depression.
The CAME was administered antenatally and postnatally in ten study sites, respectively to 296 and 249 women. Affective disorder throughout pregnancy and upto 6 month spostnatally was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV Axis I Disorders.
Adversity, poor relationship with either a partner or a confidant, and negative feelings about the pregnancy all predicted onset of depression during the perinatal period.
The CAME was able to assess major domains relevant to the psychosocial context of the maternity experience in different cultures. Overall, the instrument showed acceptable psychometric properties in its first use in different cultural settings.
Infant development is adversely affected in the context of postnatal depression. This relationship may be mediated by both the nature of early mother-infant interactions and the quality of the home environment.
To establish the usefulness of the Global Ratings Scales of Mother–Infant Interaction and the Infant–Toddler version of the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment (IT–HOME), and to test expected associations of the measures with characteristics of the social context and with major or minor depression.
Both assessments were administered postnatally in four European centres; 144 mothers were assessed with the Global Ratings Scales and 114 with the IT–HOME. Affective disorder was assessed by means of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM–IV Disorders.
Analyses of mother–infant interaction indicated no main effect for depression but maternal sensitivity to infant behaviour was associated with better infant communication, especially for women who were not depressed. Poor overall emotional support also reduced sensitivity scores. Poor support was also related to poorer IT–HOME scores, but there was no effect of depression.
The Global Ratings Scales were effectively applied but there was less evidence of the usefulness of the IT–HOME.
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