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Article

Depression and Anxiety Symptoms of British Adoptive Parents: A Prospective Four-Wave Longitudinal Study

1
Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, 1-3 Museum Place, Cardiff CF10 3BD, UK
2
School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff CF10 3BD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 5153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245153
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 11 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
The mental health of birth parents has gained attention due to the serious negative consequences for personal, family, and child outcomes, but depression and anxiety in adoptive parents remains under-recognized. Using a prospective, longitudinal design, we investigated anxiety and depression symptoms in 96 British adoptive parents over four time points in the first four years of an adoptive placement. Depression and anxiety symptom scores were relatively stable across time. Growth curve analysis showed that higher child internalizing scores and lower parental sense of competency at five months post-placement were associated with higher initial levels of parental depressive symptoms. Lower parental sense of competency was also associated with higher initial levels of parental anxiety symptoms. Parents of older children and those with higher levels of parental anxiety and sense of competency at five months post-placement had a steeper decrease in depressive symptoms over time. Support for adoptive families primarily focuses on child adjustment. Our findings suggest that professional awareness of parental mental health post-placement may be necessary, and interventions aimed at improving parents’ sense of competency may be beneficial. View Full-Text
Keywords: adoption; parent mental health; parent competency; child psychopathology adoption; parent mental health; parent competency; child psychopathology
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MDPI and ACS Style

Anthony, R.E.; Paine, A.L.; Shelton, K.H. Depression and Anxiety Symptoms of British Adoptive Parents: A Prospective Four-Wave Longitudinal Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 5153. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245153

AMA Style

Anthony RE, Paine AL, Shelton KH. Depression and Anxiety Symptoms of British Adoptive Parents: A Prospective Four-Wave Longitudinal Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(24):5153. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245153

Chicago/Turabian Style

Anthony, Rebecca E.; Paine, Amy L.; Shelton, Katherine H. 2019. "Depression and Anxiety Symptoms of British Adoptive Parents: A Prospective Four-Wave Longitudinal Study" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 16, no. 24: 5153. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16245153

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