Heightened maternal separation anxiety in the postpartum : The role of socioeconomic disadvantage

Journal article


Cooklin, Amanda R., Lucas, Nina, Strazdins, Lyndall, Westrupp, Elizabeth, Giallo, Rebecca, Canterford, Louise and Nicholson, Jan M.. (2014). Heightened maternal separation anxiety in the postpartum : The role of socioeconomic disadvantage. Journal of Family Issues. 35(11), pp. 1497-1519. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X13481776
AuthorsCooklin, Amanda R., Lucas, Nina, Strazdins, Lyndall, Westrupp, Elizabeth, Giallo, Rebecca, Canterford, Louise and Nicholson, Jan M.
Abstract

Maternal separation anxiety (MSA) refers to feelings of anxiety elicited in a mother during separation from her infant. The role of social and structural disadvantage in the etiology of high MSA has been overlooked. Secondary analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (N = 3,897) revealed that compared to socioeconomically advantaged women, women of low socioeconomic position had a fourfold increased odds of reporting high (>80th percentile) MSA (odds ratio = 4.37, 95% confidence interval = 3.24-5.89), even when maternal and infant characteristics were controlled for. Inadequate social support and residing in a poor quality neighborhood were also significantly associated with high MSA in adjusted analyses. These findings indicate that high MSA is more common in socioeconomically disadvantaged women and might be a response to adverse circumstances. Mothers’ experience of, and reasons for, MSA needs to be considered in policy formulation about parental leave and postpartum employment, particularly for disadvantaged mothers.

Keywordsmaternal employment; parental leave; maternal separation anxiety; perinatal mental health; socioeconomic position
Year2014
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Journal citation35 (11), pp. 1497-1519
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
ISSN0192-513X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X13481776
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84905514747
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range1497-1519
FunderAustralian Research Council
National Health and Medical Research Council
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online31 Mar 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2021
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDARC/DP0774439
NHMRC/390136
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