Examining the relationship between maternal childhood abuse history and mother-infant bonding : The mediating roles of postpartum depression and maternal self-efficacy

Journal article


Chau, Vivian, Dryer, Mary Rachel and Brunton, Robyn. (2023). Examining the relationship between maternal childhood abuse history and mother-infant bonding : The mediating roles of postpartum depression and maternal self-efficacy. Child Abuse and Neglect. 145, p. Article 106439. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2023.106439
AuthorsChau, Vivian, Dryer, Mary Rachel and Brunton, Robyn
Abstract

Background
The detrimental effects of childhood abuse on long-term outcomes are well-known, however few studies have examined these effects in the context of postpartum psychopathology, maternal self-efficacy, and mother-infant bonding quality.

Objective
This study aimed to examine the relationship between a maternal childhood abuse experience (i.e., physical, psychological, and sexual) and mother-infant bonding disturbances, and whether this relationship was mediated by postnatal depression symptomatology and maternal self-efficacy.

Method
A sample of 191 postpartum women (Mage = 32.88, SD = 4.20) recruited online from the general population completed self-report measures of the constructs of interest.

Results
Postnatal depression symptomatology and maternal self-efficacy were found to fully mediate the relationship between psychological child abuse experience and mother-infant bonding disturbances (β = 0.06, SE = 0.03, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.12). Postnatal depression symptomatology (but not maternal self-efficacy) was an independent mediator between psychological child abuse experience and mother-infant bonding (β = 0.07, SE = 0.03, 95 % CI: 0.01, 0.13). After inclusion of other abuse types as covariates in the analyses, the findings for maternal child physical abuse attenuated to non-significance. Child sexual abuse was not associated with the mediating or outcome variables, highlighting the issue of disclosure despite the anonymous online environment.

Conclusion
This study highlights the negative impact of psychological childhood abuse experience on the quality of the mother-infant bond during the postpartum period and potential pathways that underlie this relationship. This study also draws attention to the need to recognize comorbidity of abuse types in research.

Keywordsmaternal child abuse history; mother-infant relationship; maternal experiences; postnatal depression
Year2023
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Journal citation145, p. Article 106439
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN0145-2134
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2023.106439
PubMed ID37683403
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85171632152
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
Page range1-12
FunderAustralian Catholic University (ACU)
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online07 Sep 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Aug 2023
Deposited29 Nov 2023
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