Gender preference and perinatal depression in Turkey: A cohort study
Şentürk Cankorur, Vesile
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Background Child gender preference is important in some cultures and has been found to modify risk for antenatal and postnatal depression. We investigated discrepancies in the child gender preference between participating women and other key family members and the extent to which these predicted perinatal depression. Methods In a large cohort study of perinatal depression in urban and rural Turkey, participants had been asked about child gender preferences: their own, and those of their husband, parents, and parents in-law. Of 730 participants recruited in their third trimester (94.6% participation), 578 (79.2%) were reassessed at a mean (SD) 4.1 (3.3) months after childbirth, and 488 (66.8%) were reassessed at 13.7 (2.9) months. Results No associations were found between any gender preference reported in the antenatal period and depression at any examination. On the other hand, we found associations of antenatal depression with differences in participant-reported gender preference and that reported for their mother-in-law (OR 1.81, 1.08–3.04). This non-agreement also predicted depression at the 4 month (OR 2.24, 1.24–4.03) and 14 month (OR 2.07, 1.05–4.04) postnatal examinations. These associations with postnatal depression persisted after adjustment for a range of covariates (ORs 3.19 (1.54–6.59) and 3.30 (1.49–7.33) respectively). Conclusions Reported disagreement in child gender preferences between a woman and her mother-inlaw was a predictor of post-natal depression and may reflect wider family disharmony as an underlying factor.
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