Effect of maternal depression and anxiety on mother’s perception of child and the protective role of social support

Eszter Lefkovics, J. Rigó, Illés Kovács, Júlia Talabér, Bernadett Szita, András Kecskeméti, László Szabó, Zsolt Somogyvári, I. Baji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of postpartum depressive and anxiety symptoms on maternal perception of the infant and the protective role of social support. Background: Adverse effects of perinatal depression on mother–child interaction are well documented; however, the role of maternal perception has not been examined. Methods: We used the data of 431 women enrolled in a prospective study in a single maternity unit. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and the mother’s perception of infant with the Mother’s Object Relation Scale (MORS). We used Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) in order to measure social support. Results: Depressive and anxiety symptoms were positively associated to less positive emotions and a more dominant attitude of child as perceived by mothers. This association was even more significant in the case of trait anxiety. Perceived social support has been found to be a protective factor which was able to reduce this tendency. Conclusion: The findings have potential implications for our understanding of the impact of maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms on the developing mother–infant relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 8 2018



  • mother’s perception
  • perceived social support
  • postpartum anxiety
  • Postpartum depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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