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A Dyadic Study on Perceived Stress and Couple Adjustment During Pregnancy: The Mediating Role of Depressive Symptoms

By Baldoni F., Giannotti M., Casu G., Luperini V. and Spelzini F.


Stress is associated with dyadic adjustment during transition to parenthood, but little is known about mechanisms underlying this link, particularly during prenatal period. This dyadic study explored the mediating role of depressive symptoms in the relationship between perceived stress and dyadic adjustment in expectant couples. One hundred and fourteen couples at the third trimester of pregnancy completed self-reports of perceived stress, depression, and dyadic adjustment. Results indicated that both parents\u2019 perceived stress was associated with their own lower relationship satisfaction directly and indirectly, through their own higher depressive symptoms. Mothers\u2019 perceived stress was also linked to higher fathers\u2019 depressive symptoms, and thus also to lower fathers\u2019 relationship satisfaction. Both parents\u2019 perceived stress was only directly associated with their own dyadic consensus, and their own and their partners\u2019 affectional expression. Findings suggest that interventions aimed at reducing expectant parents\u2019 perceived stress could protect against depressive symptoms and promote the couple\u2019s adjustment during pregnancy

Topics: actor-partner interdependence model, couples, depression, dyadic adjustment, pregnancy, stress
Publisher: 'SAGE Publications'
Year: 2020
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0192513X20934834
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