The Job Demand-Control (Support) Model, Work-Family Spillover and Postpartum Depression: A Longitudinal Analysis

Rada K. Dagher, University of Maryland
Patricia McGovern, University of Minnesota
Bryan Dowd, University of Minnesota

Objective: To identify the psychosocial work and family factors associated with postpartum depressive symptoms. Methods: We utilized a prospective cohort design. Eligible employed women, 18 years or older, were interviewed at 3 Minnesota hospitals while hospitalized for childbirth in 2001. Telephone interviews were conducted at 5 weeks (N=716), 11 weeks (N=661), 6 months (N=625), and 12 months (N=575) postpartum. Results: Fixed effects regression analyses revealed that work stressors (psychological demands and family-to-work conflict) and home stressors (work-to-family conflict, infant sleep problems, and infant fussy behavior) increase depressive symptoms. Increased psychosocial resources (job flexibility, perceived control, and social support) decreased depressive symptoms. Supervisor support and social support from family and friends buffered the effects of work-to-family conflict on depressive symptoms while job flexibility buffered the effects of family-to-work conflict. Conclusions: There is an interdependent relationship between stress from paid work and stress from unpaid home tasks that affects postpartum depressive symptoms.

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Presented in Session 175: Work and Health