Trait Forgiveness and Dyadic Adjustment Predict Postnatal Depression

Jennifer S. Ripley, Everett L. Worthington, Rachel C. Garthe, Don E. Davis, Joshua N. Hook, Chelsea A. Reid, Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Amy Voltmer, Camilla W. Nonterah, Richard G. Cowden, Anthony Coetzer-Liversage, Athena Cairo, Shaun Joynt, Bright Akpalu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The birth of a first child can be stressful on intimate partner relationships and the women having their first child. Conflict can occur, and hurts might be experienced, which could lead to post-partum depression. Thus, capacity for forgiveness with specific hurts might affect post-partum depression. We investigated women having their first child (N = 52), and examined whether dyadic adjustment, trait forgiveness, and situational forgiving during pregnancy predicted postpartum depression. This study found that marital forgiveness predicted lower levels of depression above and beyond the effects of general dyadic adjustment. Dyadic adjustment and trait forgiveness predicted postpartum depression while situational forgiving was mixed. Postpartum depression researchers are encouraged to consider the inclusion of positive psychology variables, such as forgiveness, in future research studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2185-2192
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Dyadic adjustment
  • Forgiveness
  • Positive psychology
  • Postpartum depression
  • Stress in parenthood
  • Transition to parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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