Pre-conception self-harm, maternal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems: a 20-year prospective cohort study

Borschmann, Rohan, Molyneaux, Emma, Spry, Elizabeth, Moran, Paul, Howard, Louise M., Macdonald, Jacqui A., Brown, Stephanie J., Moreno-Betancur, Margarita, Olsson, Craig A. and Patton, George C. 2019, Pre-conception self-harm, maternal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems: a 20-year prospective cohort study, Psychological medicine, vol. 49, no. 16, pp. 2727-2735, doi: 10.1017/s0033291718003689.

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Title Pre-conception self-harm, maternal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems: a 20-year prospective cohort study
Author(s) Borschmann, Rohan
Molyneaux, Emma
Spry, Elizabeth
Moran, Paul
Howard, Louise M.
Macdonald, Jacqui A.ORCID iD for Macdonald, Jacqui A.
Brown, Stephanie J.
Moreno-Betancur, Margarita
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A.
Patton, George C.
Journal name Psychological medicine
Volume number 49
Issue number 16
Start page 2727
End page 2735
Total pages 9
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Place of publication Cambridge, Eng.
Publication date 2019-12
ISSN 0033-2917
Keyword(s) Cohort study
mother–infant bonding
perinatal mental health
Summary Background: Self-harm in young people is associated with later problems in social and emotional development. However, it is unknown whether self-harm in young women continues to be a marker of vulnerability on becoming a parent. This study prospectively describes the associations between pre-conception self-harm, maternal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems.MethodsThe Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS) is a follow-up to the Victorian Adolescent Health Cohort Study (VAHCS) in Australia. Socio-demographic and health variables were assessed at 10 time-points (waves) from ages 14 to 35, including self-reported self-harm at waves 3–9. VIHCS enrolment began in 2006 (when participants were aged 28–29 years), by contacting VAHCS women every 6 months to identify pregnancies over a 7-year period. Perinatal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale during the third trimester, and 2 and 12 months postpartum. Mother–infant bonding problems were assessed with the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire at 2 and 12 months postpartum.ResultsFive hundred sixty-four pregnancies from 384 women were included. One in 10 women (9.7%) reported pre-conception self-harm. Women who reported self-harming in young adulthood (ages 20–29) reported higher levels of perinatal depressive symptoms and mother–infant bonding problems at all perinatal time points [perinatal depressive symptoms adjusted β = 5.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.42–7.39; mother–infant bonding problems adjusted β = 7.51, 95% CI 3.09–11.92]. There was no evidence that self-harm in adolescence (ages 15–17) was associated with either perinatal outcome.ConclusionsSelf-harm during young adulthood may be an indicator of future vulnerability to perinatal mental health and mother–infant bonding problems.
Language eng
DOI 10.1017/s0033291718003689
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1701 Psychology
1117 Public Health and Health Services
1109 Neurosciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2018, Cambridge University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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