Recurrence of depression during pregnancy: psychosocial and personal functioning correlates

Depress Anxiety. 2009;26(6):557-67. doi: 10.1002/da.20421.


Background: This study examined psychosocial and personal functioning during pregnancy in women at risk for depression recurrence based on having had at least one major depressive episode (MDE) preceding the pregnancy.

Methods: Three groups of women, who differed in recurrence of depression during pregnancy, were compared: (1) women who had at least one recurrent episode meeting diagnostic criteria for a MDE (n=23), (2) women who had a recurrence of clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms but did not meet criteria for a MDE (n=18), and (3) women who had no recurrence of depression (n=38) during pregnancy.

Results: Results indicated that recurrences of depression during pregnancy are associated with a range of psychosocial and personal functioning correlates. Furthermore, the correlates of depression during pregnancy were the same for women who met diagnostic criteria for MDE and women who had subthreshold levels of depression.

Conclusions: The findings support extending psychosocial models of depression to depression recurrence during pregnancy with an emphasis on the broader context within which depression occurs. The findings also have implications for understanding subclinical depression during pregnancy as being associated with problems in functioning equal in severity and breadth to episodes of major depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications / psychology*
  • Psychometrics
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Young Adult