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Understanding parental psychopathology interaction is important in preventing negative family outcomes. This study investigated the effect of paternal psychiatric history on maternal depressive symptom trajectory from birth to 12 months postpartum. Maternal Edinburgh Postpartum Depression screens were collected at 1, 6 and 12 months and fathers’ psychiatric diagnoses were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV from 64 families. There was not a significant difference in the trajectory of maternal depressive symptoms between mothers with partners with history of or a current psychiatric condition or those without a condition. However, mothers with partners with substance abuse history had higher levels of depressive symptoms relative to those affected by mood/anxiety disorders or those without a disorder. Our results call for a closer look at paternal history of substance abuse when treating postpartum maternal depression.
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