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Risk and Protective Factors for Maternal and Paternal Mental Health during the Perinatal Period

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Mental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 2917

Special Issue Editors

Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milano, Via Francesco Sforza 35, 20122 Milano, Italy
Interests: perinatal affective disorders; mental health; parenting; interpersonal relationships
Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Via Calepina, 14, 38122 Trento, Italy
Interests: perinatal psychological distress; fatherhood; attachment; parenting; child maltreatment; coparenting; at-risk families

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Perinatal maternal and paternal mental health has attracted increasing interest in recent times. Research has highlighted the impact of the transition to parenthood on the mental health of both parents, emphasizing how the affective states of the two partners are correlated throughout the perinatal period.

However, most studies to date have focused on maternal perinatal depression and limited attention has been given to paternal depression, despite its crucial impact on the wellbeing of mothers and offspring alike. Furthermore, little is known about other disorders that may occur in the perinatal period in both men and women (e.g., anxiety, somatic, etc.). Recent literature has shown the influence of specific individual, couple, child, and social factors on perinatal maternal and paternal mental health, suggesting the importance of considering this interplay among several domains.

This Special Issue aims to present the latest research in the field of maternal and paternal perinatal mental health. Original studies, reviews and meta-analyses on risk and protective factors for maternal and paternal mental health in different family contexts and the effectiveness and implementation of interventions, screening tools and programs, services for the diagnosis and treatment of perinatal mental disorders, and promotion of perinatal maternal and paternal mental health are welcome. Dyadic and/or longitudinal empirical studies on maternal and paternal mental health are of particular interest for this Special Issue.

Dr. Sonia Mangialavori
Dr. Michele Giannotti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • perinatal
  • mental health
  • maternal
  • paternal
  • transition to parenthood
  • screening
  • couple’s adjustment
  • depression
  • protective factors
  • risk factors

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 1743 KiB  
Article
A Supported Online Resilience-Enhancing Intervention for Pregnant Women: A Non-Randomized Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2024, 21(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph21020209 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 682
Abstract
A 28-week supported online intervention for pregnant women, informed by the Behavior Change Wheel Framework, was developed. The intervention included exercises, group sessions and a peer support platform. The aim of this study was to examine the potential effectiveness of the intervention in [...] Read more.
A 28-week supported online intervention for pregnant women, informed by the Behavior Change Wheel Framework, was developed. The intervention included exercises, group sessions and a peer support platform. The aim of this study was to examine the potential effectiveness of the intervention in enhancing resilience and promoting maternal mental health. Using a quasi-experimental design, assessments were conducted at baseline, postintervention and follow-ups at six and 12 months after childbirth. Resilience, resilience attributes, and maternal mental health were measured using standardised scales. The intervention group received the intervention (N = 70), while the control group (N = 32) received care-as-usual. A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to determine within- and between-group changes. Results showed no significant differences between groups regarding resilience and maternal mental health. However, the intervention group demonstrated stable resilience (p = 0.320) compared to a significant decrease in the control group (p = 0.004). Within the intervention group, perceived social support remained stable during the intervention, but decreased significantly at the first follow-up (p = 0.012). All participants faced additional stress from the COVID-19 pandemic alongside the challenges of parenthood. This study contributes to maternal mental health literature with an innovative, supported online intervention. The intervention consists of different deployable components, designed to be offered online, and the current pilot data are promising. Further research is warranted to explore its full potential in clinical practice. Full article
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15 pages, 390 KiB  
Article
Psychological Characteristics of Women with Perinatal Depression Who Require Psychiatric Support during Pregnancy or Postpartum: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(8), 5508; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085508 - 14 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1600
Abstract
Antenatal depression may be distinct from postpartum depression in terms of prevalence, severity of symptoms, comorbidities, prognosis, and risk factors. Although risk factors for perinatal depression have been identified, it is unclear whether there are differences in the onset of perinatal depression (PND). [...] Read more.
Antenatal depression may be distinct from postpartum depression in terms of prevalence, severity of symptoms, comorbidities, prognosis, and risk factors. Although risk factors for perinatal depression have been identified, it is unclear whether there are differences in the onset of perinatal depression (PND). This study explored the characteristics of women requiring mental health support during pregnancy or postpartum. A sample of 170 women (58% in pregnancy; 42% postpartum) who contacted the SOS-MAMMA outpatient clinic was recruited. Clinical data sheets and self-report questionnaires (EPDS, LTE-Q, BIG FIVE; ECR; BSQ; STICSA) were administered, hypothesizing possible risk factors, such as personality traits, stressful life events, body dissatisfaction, attachment style, and anxiety. Hierarchical regression models were carried out in the pregnancy (F10;36 = 8.075, p < 0.001, adjR2 = 0.877) and postpartum groups (F10;38 = 3.082, p < 0.05, adjR2 = 0.809). Recent stressful life events and conscientiousness were associated with depression in both the pregnant (29.3%, 25.5% of variance) and postpartum groups (23.8%, 20.7% of variance). In pregnant women, “openness” (11.6%), body dissatisfaction (10.2%), and anxiety (7.1%) symptoms were predictive of depression. In the postpartum group, “neuroticism” (13.8%) and insecure romantic attachment dimensions (13.4%; 9.2%) were the strongest predictors. Perinatal psychological interventions should consider the differences between mothers with depression during pregnancy and postpartum. Full article
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