Impact of unintended pregnancy on maternal mental health: a causal analysis using follow up data of the Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC)

Cited 73 time in Web of Science Cited 78 time in Scopus
Issue Date
BioMed Central
BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 15(1):85
Inverse probabilityKoreaPerinatal depressionPropensity scoresStressUnintended pregnancy
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Pregnancy intention is important for maternal and child health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the causal relation between pregnancy intention and maternal depression and parenting stress in Korean women who gave birth during 2008.

This study is a retrospective evaluation of prospectively collected data from the Panel Study on Korean Children from 2008 to 2010. Causal analyses were conducted using propensity score matching and inverse probability of treatment weighted methods. In addition, mediation analyses were performed to test mitigating effects of marital conflict, fathers participation in childcare, and mothers knowledge of infant development on the relation between unintended pregnancy and adverse maternal mental health.

Results showed that the overall effect of an unintended pregnancy on maternal depression and parenting stress was statistically significant. An unintended pregnancy was associated with 20–22% greater odds of maternal depression, 0.28–0.39 greater depression score, and 0.85–1.16 greater parenting stress score. Relations between pregnancy intention and maternal depression, maternal depression score and parenting stress score were moderately explained by marital conflict and fathers participation in childcare.

Unintended pregnancy contributed to increased risks of maternal depression and parenting stress. Efforts to increase fathers participation in childcare and decrease marital conflict might be helpful to mitigate adverse impacts of unintended pregnancy on perinatal maternal mental health.
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