Self-esteem, optimism, and postpartum depression

Kevin R. Fontaine, Lindsay C. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to assess the predictive utility of self- esteem and dispositional optimism to postpartum depression. Forty-five British women completed standard measures of self esteem, optimism, and postpartum depression several weeks before childbirth. Depression was again measured at two and six weeks postpartum. Optimism was associated with less depressive symptoms during pregnancy and at two weeks postpartum, while self- esteem was associated with lower depression over all three administrations. After controlling for optimism and earlier levels of depressive symptoms, self-esteem remained associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms two weeks postpartum. This suggests that self-esteem and not optimism appears to be a reliable contributing factor to the differential susceptibility to depression in the early postpartum period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-63
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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