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The Korean Journal of Woman Psychology

A Qualitative Study on Psychosocial Characteristics of Husbands Having Wives with Postpartum Depression (at Six to Eight Months after Childbirth)


Postpartum depression can be a cause of serious social problems, beyond the psychological health of an individual or a family. However, it is often neglected because there is not enough social interest on the issue and people are not aware of the need for therapeutic intervention for the symptom. The objective of this study was to develop a program regarding how to psychologically support a spouse suffering from postpartum depression through husbands. This study evaluated the psychosocial experience of mothers, who were between six and eight months after childbirth and had a postpartum depression tendency, by using a qualitative method and identified the characteristics of them by comparing them with the control group. The subjects of this study were participants in Childhood Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cohort Study (COCOA), an on-going study in the Obstetrics and Gynecology of five general hospitals. The treatment group was composed of eight husbands, whose wives had EPDS over 13 points (mean=16.5 and SD=2.7), and the control group had six husbands, whose wives had 4 points and less (mean=1.8 and SD=0.8). Based on the analysis results of qualitative interview data, an integrated analysis was conducted with focusing on the theme, domain, and semantic category. First, the results of this study showed that the growth background of husbands was a factor determining how a husband responded to the stress of a wife sensitively. Secondly, the husbands of mothers with postpartum depression tendency tended to feel burdened more to support the family financially and be a good father because of the ill-prepared pregnancy and childbirth. However, they worried about the health of their children and wanted to nurture them well. Moreover, they wanted to spend more time together. They pointed out the reality that they had to emphasize their jobs and they believed that their wives’ postpartum depression would be improved if they helped their wives and reared children together. Additionally, they wanted to receive parenting coaching, education, and couples counseling, which indicated that they were looking for professional help to improve the postpartum depression.

산후우울, 배우자, 남성 산후우울, 질적연구, postpartum depression, husbands, paternal postpartum depression, Qualitative research



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The Korean Journal of Woman Psychology