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Rates and Predictors of Depression in Adoptive Mothers: Moving Toward Theory

Foli, Karen J. PhD, RN; South, Susan C. PhD; Lim, Eunjung PhD

doi: 10.1097/ANS.0b013e318244553e
Nursing & the Environment

There are approximately 1.8 million adopted children living in the United States. Adoptive parents may experience depressive symptoms and put their children at risk for negative outcomes. The results of this study describe the rates of depression in 300 adoptive mothers and associations with hypothesized explanatory variables, which predict approximately half of the variance in maternal depressive symptoms: expectations of themselves as mothers, the child, and family and friends; feeling of rest; past and present psychiatric difficulties (self-esteem, history of depression); and interpersonal variables (bonding, marital satisfaction, perceived support). These findings are useful in planning effective interventions to mitigate depressive symptoms.

School of Nursing (Drs Foli and Lim) and Department of Psychological Sciences (Dr South), College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Correspondence: Karen J. Foli, PhD, RN, School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, Johnson Hall of Nursing, Room 234, 502 N University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (

This research was supported by the Purdue University School of Nursing, West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr Foli is an advisory board member to Journey to Me, the organization from which respondents were recruited. The authors thank Bren Wolfe, President of Journey to Me, for her assistance and to the parents who participated in the study.

The authors have no conflict of interest associated with this study and data set. As the principal investigator, Dr Foli had full access to the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.