Postpartum depressive symptoms (PPDS) are likely to have a multifactorial etiology. The relationships among identified PPDS risk factors, however, remain inconclusive. A vulnerability-stress conceptualization of PPDS was tested with a sample of 144 U.S. mothers aged 18–46 years, who had given birth in the last 12 months. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, Dysfunctional Attitude Scale Form A-17, Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, and Quality of Relationships Inventory were completed. The conceptual model and three alternative models were tested using structural equation modeling. A variation of the conceptual model yielded the best fit, χ<sup>2</sup> (98) = 133.541, p =.0099, Standardized Root Mean Residual (SRMR) = 0.071, Root Mean Square Error of Approximation (RMSEA) = 0.050 (90% CI = 0.026–0.070), Tucker Lewis Index (TLI) = 0.953, Comparative Fix Index (CFI) = 0.961. Dependency and partner conflict were positively related to PPDS, while maternal-efficacy was negatively related to PPDS. Dependency moderated the relationship between maternal-efficacy and PPDS, so that this relationship was stronger for mothers with higher dependency than for those with lower dependency. Dependency, partner conflict, and maternal-efficacy should be considered when building interventions that target the wellbeing of mothers in the first year after birth.
- depressive symptoms
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