OBJECTIVE - This study describes maternal depression associated with newborn genetic screening for type 1 diabetes after risk notification. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Mothers of at-risk infants (n = 192), identified through newborn genetic screening as part of the Prospective Assessment of Newborns for Diabetes Autoimmunity study, were administered a structured telephone interview assessing maternal depressive symptoms 1 and 3.5 months after risk notification. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine predictors and correlates of maternal depressive symptoms. RESULTS - For the total sample, maternal depressive symptoms in response to infant risk status were not elevated at 1 and 3.5 months after risk notification. However, at the first interview, mothers from ethnic minority backgrounds (P < 0.002), with limited education (P < 0.001), and with postpartum depression symptomatology (P < 0.001) reported significantly more depressive symptoms in response to risk notification (r 2 = 0.354). At the second interview, postpartum depression symptomatology remained a powerful predictor of depressive symptoms in response to risk notification (P < 0.001). In addition, certain coping styles (wishful thinking, self-blame, and seeking social support) were associated with increased depressive symptoms. A history of major depression was a correlate of both postpartum depressive symptomatology (r = 0.26) and maternal depressive response to risk notification (r = 0.21). CONCLUSIONS - For the most part, mothers of infants genetically at risk for type 1 diabetes do not appear to evidence elevated depressive symptoms. This suggests that most mothers are resilient when notified of infant risk. However, certain maternal characteristics such as ethnic minority status, less than a high school education, postpartum depression symptomatology, a history of major depression, and certain coping strategies (wishful thinking, self-blame, and seeking social support) appear to be associated with a more difficult maternal response to the news of an infant's increased genetic risk for type 1 diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing