An evaluation of the contribution of maladaptive attitudes specific to motherhood and metacognitions in perinatal depression.

Affiliation

Kingston University, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

The cognitive model of depression suggests that dysfunctional attitudes represent vulnerability towards developing depression. The metacognitive model suggests that metacognitions may play a more important role in predicting depression, compared to cognitions. We tested the relative contribution of dysfunctional attitudes and metacognitions, and their interrelationship, in predicting perinatal depressive symptomatology. A cross-sectional perinatal sample (N = 344) completed questionnaires of dysfunctional attitudes (both general and specific to motherhood), metacognitions, and sociodemographic factors including age, ethnicity, education, marital status, parity and previous history of mental health problems. Correlational analyses indicated that dysfunctional attitudes (both general and specific to motherhood), as well as metacognitions were intercorrelated and all were associated with perinatal depressive symptomatology. Controlling for sociodemographic factors, hierarchical regression analysis showed that general dysfunctional attitudes were weakly associated with perinatal depression. Moreover, maladaptive attitudes specific to motherhood and negative beliefs about the uncontrollability and danger of worry were independently associated with perinatal depressive symptomatology, with the latter variable having the strongest association with the outcome variable. Path analyses demonstrated that negative beliefs about the uncontrollability and danger of worry partially mediated the relationship between maladaptive attitudes specific to motherhood and perinatal depressive symptomatology. The results support the metacognitive conceptualisation of psychopathology which places importance on metacognitions in the maintenance of depression.

Keywords

Attitudes specific to motherhood,Metacognitions,Perinatal depression,

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