Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease vol:198 issue:1 pages:45-51
This prospective longitudinal study investigated the role of the personality dimensions of Dependency and Self-Criticism in the course of depressive symptoms in a sample of inpatient severely postpartum depressed mothers (n=55). Depressive symptoms and personality were measured during hospitalisation and on average three and a half years later. In line with previous research, a considerable subgroup of mothers (39%) reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression at Time 2. In addition, although these mothers did not exhibit more depressive episodes during follow-up period compared to mothers with a less chronic course of depression, their depressive episodes were considerably longer, and they had higher levels of severity of depression as well as of Dependency and Self-Criticism at Time 1. Finally, Self-Criticism, but not Dependency, assessed at Time 1, predicted both depression diagnosis and levels of depression at follow-up, supporting a vulnerability model positing that Self-Criticism confers vulnerability for depression over time.