Maternal attitudes, depression, and anxiety in pregnant and postpartum multiparous women

Arch Womens Ment Health. 2015 Aug;18(4):585-93. doi: 10.1007/s00737-015-0511-6. Epub 2015 Feb 26.


The Attitudes Toward Motherhood (AToM) Scale was developed to assess women's beliefs about motherhood, a specific risk factor for emotional distress in perinatal populations. As the measure was initially developed and validated for use among first-time mothers, this study assessed the reliability and validity of the AToM Scale in a sample of multiparous women. Maternal attitudes were significantly associated with symptoms of depression, even after controlling for demographic, cognitive, and interpersonal risk factors. Maternal attitudes were also associated with symptoms of anxiety after controlling for demographic risk factors, but this association was not significant after accounting for cognitive and interpersonal risk factors. Compared to primiparous women from the initial validation study of the AToM Scale, multiparous women reported lower levels of social support and marital satisfaction. The relationships between cognitive and interpersonal risk factors and symptoms of depression and anxiety were comparable between multiparous and primiparous women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Parity
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • United States
  • Young Adult