Kimberly D. Thompson, Ph.D., Fielding's School of Psychology
This study examined cognitive patterns known to be associated with depression and their relationship specifically to postpartum depression and dysfunctional maternal attitudes. The literature review situated postpartum depression and dysfunctional maternal attitudes within personal construct psychology, the interactional model of depression, and the hopelessness theory of depression. Cognitive patterns examined were socially prescribed perfectionism and the dimensions of self-silencing. Results indicated that socially prescribed perfectionism and externalized self-perception are significant predictors of both dysfunctional maternal attitudes and postpartum depression, and that dysfunctional maternal attitudes and the experience of a divided self provide significant mediation between both externalized self-perception and socially prescribed perfectionism and postpartum depression.
Key words: postpartum depression, postnatal depression, socially prescribed perfectionism, silencing the self, maternal attitudes