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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mindfulness and Self-Compassion in the Transition to Motherhood: A Prospective Study of Postnatal Mood and Attachment
by Sawyer Cohen, Jeanette, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2010, 101; 3447974
Abstract (Summary)

This prospective study aimed to examine whether prenatal mindfulness and self-compassion are associated with increased prenatal attachment and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression in the postpartum. Identifying protective factors in the perinatal period creates an opportunity for prevention against morbidity in offspring, given previous findings indicating that prenatal and postnatal mood disturbance are associated with adverse consequences for child development and attachment. Participants were 196 nulliparous women who completed self-report questionnaires in their second or third trimester of pregnancy and again at 3-8 months postpartum. Results showed a high prevalence of perinatal anxiety that was relatively stable over time, and even more robustly related to postnatal attachment than depression. Structural equation modeling showed that prenatal self-compassion predicted a considerable amount of the variance in postnatal depression and anxiety, which was in turn associated with postnatal attachment. Prenatal self-compassion and mindfulness together predicted significant variance in prenatal attachment, which was also associated with postnatal attachment. This study is the first to show that mindfulness and self-compassion during pregnancy are related to maternal mood and attachment. Preventative interventions for postnatal depression and anxiety may benefit from an emphasis on enhancing self-compassion.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Miller, Lisa J.
School: Columbia University
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Developmental psychology, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Anxiety, Depression, Mindfulness, Postnatal, Prenatal, Self-compassion, Transition to parenthood
Publication Number: 3447974
ISBN: 978-1-124-53308-7
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