Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Psychology

First Advisor

Elysia P. Davis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Pilyoung Kim, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Sarah Watamura, Ph.D.


Anxiety, Depression, Maternal mental health, Postpartum, Social Support


Social support has been identified as a protective factor for postpartum maternal distress, a prevalent women's health issue, and most research focuses on the amount of support women receive. However, research in this area has failed to explore whether increasing satisfaction with social support may be a worthwhile approach to alleviating postpartum maternal distress, beyond increasing amounts. There is also little known regarding specific aspects of support, like satisfaction with emotional and instrumental support, that might lead to differences in postpartum distress outcomes. In this prospective, longitudinal study, we hypothesized that greater social support satisfaction will be associated with less postpartum maternal distress above and beyond social support amount. In addition, we predicted that emotional support satisfaction is associated with postpartum maternal distress above and beyond instrumental support satisfaction. One hundred twenty-seven women completed measures of social support satisfaction, social support amount received, maternal distress symptoms (i.e. anxiety and depression) at 2 and 4 months postpartum. Greater satisfaction with social support was significantly associated with less maternal distress, beyond amount of social support at 2 and 4 months postpartum. Further, greater satisfaction with emotional support was associated with less postpartum maternal distress symptoms, beyond instrumental support satisfaction. Better understanding of the influence of social support on postpartum maternal distress could be used to improve preventions and treatments, thus leading to improved postpartum outcomes for both mothers and children.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Amy-Lynn Elisabeth Anderson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

95 p.


Psychology, Mental health