2021 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Jennifer M. Weaver


The transition into motherhood is a life altering experience that can be greatly affected by postpartum depressive symptoms. Many women are able to relish life with their newborn, but there are also many who suffer from postpartum depressive symptoms which can alter their experience of motherhood. Prior research has indicated predictors of postpartum depression, however limited studies have evaluated the presence of these symptoms as predictors for maternal self-efficacy and breastfeeding self-efficacy. In the current study, 60 first time mothers participated in a longitudinal study from pregnancy to 6 months postpartum. Mothers completed measures of postpartum depressive symptoms, breastfeeding self-efficacy and maternal self-efficacy at multiple time points. Regression analyses determined that 2-week postpartum depressive symptoms predicted reductions in maternal self-efficacy [F(4, 52) = 2.58, p < .05, R2 = .166] and breastfeeding self-efficacy [F(4, 48) = 2.67, p < .05, R2 = .18], controlling for age, ethnicity and marital status, These results suggest the importance of early intervention techniques for postpartum depressive symptoms, and creating resilience in areas of both maternal and breastfeeding self-efficacy.



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