In a study of socioeconomically disadvantaged urban mothers, both postpartum depression and intimate partner violence were reported frequently. But what was especially striking was that over half the mothers who reported being victims of intimate partner violence also reported having postpartum depression. Findings from the study, which was headed by Barry Solomon, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, were published in the August Journal of Pediatrics.
It thus looks as if intimate partner violence can sometimes contribute to, or even cause, postpartum depression, the researchers suggested. But what leads to intimate partner violence in the first place? Perhaps bullying, another study suggests. It found that boys who bully in school may be at an elevated risk, as adults, for perpetrating violence on their female partners.
For more information about this study, see Psychiatric News. Read an in-depth review of diagnosis and treatment of depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period in Mood and Anxiety Disorders During Pregnancy and Postpartum available from American Psychiatric Publishing.
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