Author(s)

Joshua Lees

Date Approved

7-12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. School Psychology-Professional School Psychology

Department

Psychology

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Postpartum depression;Infants with disabilities

Disciplines

Child Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services

Abstract

The incidence of postpartum depression (PPD) in Western societies is approximately 10-15% and its cause is multi-faceted. Because mothers largely constitute infants' social environment and mediate their experience of the external world, it is imperative to investigate the effects of PPD on child growth and development. Within this paper, the author explores previously conducted Post-Partum Depression research, in regards to its effects on child cognitive development. Following this literature review, a brief experimental study is conducted and explained on a sample population of mothers' of special needs children, serviced by an Early Intervention provider. During this experimental analysis, the researcher is hypothesizing that mothers of children with more severe disabilities (as measured by percent of cognitive delay) will report more symptoms associated with Post-Partum Depression than mothers of children with less severe disabilities. The researcher will also be looking for further correlations between specific questions in the survey and other demographic information recorded. The researcher chose to explore this population, rather than more mainstream samples explored in the research articles because of the lack of research with the special needs/developmentally delayed population in reference to Postpartum Depression.

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