Depressive mood, bonding failure, and abusive parenting among mothers with three-month-old babies in a Japanese community


Objective: To investigate the relationships between depressive mood, bonding failure, and abusive parenting. Method: We distributed questionnaires to 1198 mothers attending a three-month postnatal health check-up in rural areas in Japan. The questionnaires assessed these three variables along with demographics. We evaluated the causal relationships by comparing different structural equation models to the data. Results: Although all the models fit the data well, the best Akaike Information Criterion was obtained from a model where both depressive mood and bonding failure predict abusive parenting, but depressive mood and bonding failure do not predict each other directly. The determinant coefficient of child abuse in the final model was 0.13. Discussion: We found depressive mood and bonding failure during postpartum period impacted negatively on mother’s parenting behaviour. Because only 13% of the variance of abusive parenting was explainable by this model, further study should be needed to identify other risk factors of child abuse. Similarly, midwives and public health nurse in community should pay attention to not only depression but also bonding failure to prevent child abuse.

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Kitamura, T. , Ohashi, Y. , Kita, S. , Haruna, M. and Kubo, R. (2013) Depressive mood, bonding failure, and abusive parenting among mothers with three-month-old babies in a Japanese community. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.33A001.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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