Maternal Psychological Distress and Mother-Infant Relationship: Multiple-Birth Versus Singleton Preterm Infants.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Multiple preterm birth is associated with more maternal psychological distress and less positive mother-infant interactions than singleton preterm birth. This study's purpose was to compare psychological distress and the relationship with their infants in mothers of multiples and mothers of singletons.


An exploratory secondary analysis of longitudinal data.


236 mothers and their preterm infants.

Main outcome variables

Maternal psychological distress (depressive symptoms, anxiety, posttraumatic stress [PTS], parenting stress), the mother-infant relationship (worry; child vulnerability; maternal positive involvement and developmental stimulation; and child developmental maturity, irritability, and social behaviors), and the home environment.


Mothers of multiples had greater PTS symptoms at baseline, anxiety at discharge, and depressive symptoms at six months than mothers of singletons. Mothers of multiples also had more positive home environments at six months. Multiple birth was a risk factor for psychological distress but not for less positive mother-infant interactions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gondwe, KW; Yang, Q; White-Traut, R; Holditch-Davis, D

Published Date

  • March 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 77 - 88

PubMed ID

  • 28320494

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1539-2880

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0730-0832

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1891/0730-0832.36.2.77


  • eng