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Postpartum blues: salivary cortisol and psychological factors


Ehlert, Ulrike; Patalla, U; Kirschbaum, C; Piedmont, E; Hellhammer, Dirk H (1990). Postpartum blues: salivary cortisol and psychological factors. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 34(3):319-25.

Abstract

The relationships between several psychological variables and salivary cortisol levels were investigated in 70 young mothers throughout the first five days following the delivery of a healthy baby. We hypothesized that postpartum blues is associated with ineffective coping strategies, high anxiety levels, and elevated salivary cortisol concentrations. Data analysis revealed that symptoms of postpartum blues occurred more frequently in women who reported high levels of trait-anxiety, passive coping strategies, marital dissatisfaction, or acceptance of their role as a mother. These women had elevated morning levels of cortisol on those days on which the symptoms appeared in contrast to those days without symptoms as well as in contrast to those women who did not experience postpartum blues.

Abstract

The relationships between several psychological variables and salivary cortisol levels were investigated in 70 young mothers throughout the first five days following the delivery of a healthy baby. We hypothesized that postpartum blues is associated with ineffective coping strategies, high anxiety levels, and elevated salivary cortisol concentrations. Data analysis revealed that symptoms of postpartum blues occurred more frequently in women who reported high levels of trait-anxiety, passive coping strategies, marital dissatisfaction, or acceptance of their role as a mother. These women had elevated morning levels of cortisol on those days on which the symptoms appeared in contrast to those days without symptoms as well as in contrast to those women who did not experience postpartum blues.

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46 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:1990
Deposited On:23 Oct 2012 13:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-3999
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3999(90)90088-L
PubMed ID:2342000

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