Women who lack social support tend to have a higher risk of postpartum depression. The present study examined the traditional female role, understood here as the adoption of passive and submissive traits specific to Mexican women, as another risk factor for postpartum depressive symptomatology that interacts with social support. Using two waves of data from a longitudinal study of 210 adult Mexican women (20–44 years-old, M age = 29.50 years, SD = 6.34), we found that lacking social support during the third trimester of their pregnancy was associated with greater depressive symptoms at 6 months in the postpartum, although this relationship depended on the level of endorsement of the traditional female role during pregnancy. Lower social support during pregnancy predicted greater postpartum depressive symptoms for women with higher endorsement of the traditional female role, even when accounting for prenatal depressive symptoms. These results suggest that Mexican women’s experience of social support may depend on their individual adherence to gender roles. Understanding the association between women’s traditional roles and social support in the risk for postpartum depression can improve prevention and educational programs for women at risk.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 23, 2016
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