Postpartum depression: the role of self-esteem, social support and age
The study examined the role of self-esteem, social support and age on postpartum depression. Two hundred puperal mothers presenting in five hospitals for postpartum check-ups participated in the study. In this single cross-sectional survey, the mothers were individually administered the Index of Self-esteem, Edinburgh postnatal depression scale and Social provision scale. A three-way ANOVA with unequal sample sizes was used for data analysis. Results indicated that 58% of these respondents exhibited postpartum depression (score of 9 and above in the Ediburgh postpartum depression scale). On self-esteem, mothers with low self-esteem experienced more postpartum depression than mothers with high self-esteem on (F=14.097; p< .0001). Results further reveal that mothers with low social support experienced more postpartum depression than mothers with high social support (F=4.368; p<.05). Additionally, there were no significant differences in postpartum depression between younger and older mothers. These findings underscores the importance of assessing postpartum women for depression. There is evidence to suggest that long-term effects of postpartum depression on mothers may be devastating. Thus integration into social networks and provision of high levels of social support are key to mental health, well-being and improved self-appraisal/self-esteem. Social connection for mothers is key.
Keywords: Postpartum depression, Self Esteem, Social Support and Age.