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Past projects

Perinatal depression in Turkey

In Turkey, mothers and mothers-in-law are traditionally expected to provide practical and emotional support to women after childbirth.

This study seeks to find out if antenatal and postnatal depression are predicted by the quality of the relationships between a woman and her mother and mother-in-law, and if postnatal depression is more common for women who give birth to daughters when there is a strong family preference for a male child. The research will compare the experiences of women living in urban and rural settings.

Traditional family support networks for women before and after childbirth in Turkey are changing as a result of the migration of women from the country to cities and the adoption of ‘Western’ expectations and lifestyles.

Little is known about the influence of social roles for women and family support structures on the aetiology of postnatal depression, particularly when those roles and support structures are rapidly changing. The results of this research will lead to a better understanding of risk factors in particular settings and allow treatment, early detection and prevention strategies to be developed and evaluated.

750 women will be recruited from 10 urban and 10 rural antenatal clinics in and around Ankara. Participants will be interviewed when they join the study in the third trimester of pregnancy and then asked to give information again one month and two months after giving birth. Researchers will collect information about symptoms of antenatal depression and postnatal depression and structured questionnaires will gauge the quality of women’s relationships with their husbands, mothers and mothers-in-law, finding out about the practical and emotional support they are offered as well as the negative aspects of relationships.

The project is funded by The Wellcome Trust.

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