The effects of a social support group on depression, maternal attitudes and behavior in new mothers

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1992 May;33(4):685-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1992.tb00905.x.


The present study examined the effects of a postpartum Social Support Group intervention on mood state, attitudes and behavior of new mothers. Intervention conditions consisted of an eight session Social Support intervention (n = 44), a no intervention condition (n = 83) and a Group-by-Mail intervention (n = 15). Attitudinal and behavioral assessments were made before and after the interventions at 6 and 20 weeks postpartum, respectively. The primary results indicate that regardless of intervention condition mothers undergo an improvement in mood from 2 weeks to 5 months postpartum. Although the Social Support intervention did not alleviate maternal depression and, in fact, may be detrimental to depressed mothers' self-confidence, it did increase mothers' proximal attention to their infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Family
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Care
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Puerperal Disorders / prevention & control
  • Puerperal Disorders / psychology*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires