Examining mothers’ mental well-being using the subscales of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

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University of New Brunswick


Mothers who experience alterations in their mental well-being following childbirth are commonly labelled as having postnatal depression (PND); however, research suggests these alterations may also stem from feelings of anxiety or anhedonia. I re-examined data for 54 cases from a community-based sample of mothers who were labelled moderately depressed based on their total scores on the Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Using the EPDS subscales, analyses was conducted to determine if alterations in mental well-being reflected feelings of depression, anxiety, or anhedonia. Further analyses were conducted to examine how subscales scores were affected by mothers’ perceptions of social support and their parity. Findings suggest mothers scored higher on the anxiety subscale than the depression subscale. Using the Social Provision Scale, mothers’ mental well-being was affected by perceptions of reassurance of worth, opportunity of nurturance, and reliable alliances. Results suggest EPDS subscales offer a more detailed assessment of mothers’ mental well-being.