The social context of lesbian mothers' anxiety during early parenthood
Objective. To prospectively explore change in mental health (and, specifically, anxiety) across the transition to parenthood for lesbian mothers. Design. Multilevel modeling was used to analyze data from 34 lesbian couples (68 women) at three time points (prenatal, 3 months postbirth, and 3.5 years after birth) to explore the influence of prenatal characteristics on the level of and change in women's anxiety during early parenthood. Results. Anxiety increased for all new mothers, but predictors of average anxiety and change in anxiety differed somewhat for biological and nonbiological lesbian mothers. For biological mothers, working more hours and doing more housework prenatally were associated with higher average anxiety postnatally. Among nonbiological mothers, lower perceived infant distress and higher perceived instrumental support were associated with less increase in anxiety over time. Conclusion. Early parenthood can be challenging for both biological and nonbiological lesbian mothers, and prenatal and postnatal factors are potentially salient in determining lesbian mothers' adjustment.
Goldberg, Abbie E. and Smith, Juli Anna Z., "The social context of lesbian mothers' anxiety during early parenthood" (2008). Psychology. 426.