Research lays a foundation of knowledge for understanding psychopathology, mental health and the relationship between psychological factors and physical disease. Research also provides a body of evidence to guide clinical practice, including empirically validated methods to assess people and their problems and empirically supported methods of prevention and treatment.

Research findings should also identify those interventions that have been shown to be more effective than no treatment or alternative forms of treatment. Just as research informs clinical practice, clinical experiences provide a source of ideas and hypotheses for research. Research also provides ideas for new directions and applications for the field of clinical psychology, including links between clinical psychology and research in other behavioral, biological, and social sciences.

Therefore, Maternal Mental Health NOW is dedicated to:

(1) providing access to up-to-date empirical research articles for our health care community providers and to the women and families they serve; and

(2) supporting local research studies that focus on maternal mental health. This is important because, maternal mental health is a dynamic and fast-paced research field and you can help move the field forward with your participation!

We take a team approach to this effort. Our research subcommittee regularly updates the Training Institute’s materials and this webpage, in order to objectively maintain academic rigor and provide research opportunities to our community.

The six broad areas of research that we update include Screening, Interventions, Risks, Outcomes, Neurobiology and Disparities Research. We also include a research folder focused on our conference topic, which changes every 2 years. Please click on the links below for additional information, including abstracts and in some cases full-length articles.

Below is a list of research articles and reports related to each category that have been vetted by our research committee. Please click on the links below for additional information, including abstracts and in some cases full-length articles.
  1. Accortt, E. E., & Wong, M. S. (2017). It is time for routine screening for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in obstetrics and gynecology settingsObstetrical & gynecological survey72(9), 553-568.
  2. Austin, M. P., & Marcé Society Position Statement Advisory Committee. (2014). Marcé International Society position statement on psychosocial assessment and depression screening in perinatal women. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 28(1), 179-187.
  3. Boyd, R. C., Le, H. N., & Somberg, R. (2005). Review of screening instruments for postpartum depressionArchives of Women’s Mental Health, 8(3), 141-153.
  4. California Health Care Foundation (2016). Maternity Care in California: Delivering the Data.
  5. Committee on Obstetric Practice. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee Opinion No. 630: screening for perinatal depression. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2015;125(5):1268-1271.
  6. Cox, J. L., Holden, J. M., & Sagovsky, R. (1987). Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression ScaleThe British Journal of Psychiatry150(6), 782-786.
  7. Earls, M. F. (2010). Incorporating recognition and management of perinatal and postpartum depression into pediatric practicePediatrics, 126(5), 1032-1039.
  8. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med.2001;16:606–13.
  9. Lee LC, et al., 2005. Depression among female family planning patients: Prevalence, risk factors, and use of mental health services. J Womens Health; 14:225-232
  10. Matthey, S., Fisher, J., & Rowe, H. (2013). Using the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale to screen for anxiety disorders: conceptual and methodological considerationsJournal of affective disorders146(2), 224-230.
  11. O’Connor, E., Rossom, R. C., Henninger, M., Groom, H. C., & Burda, B. U. (2016). Primary care screening for and treatment of depression in pregnant and postpartum women: evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task ForceJAMA315(4), 388-406.
  12. Siu, A. L., Bibbins-Domingo, K., Grossman, D. C., Baumann, L. C., Davidson, K. W., Ebell, M.,& Krist, A. H. (2016). Screening for depression in adults: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 315(4), 380-387.
  13. Tully, K. P., Stuebe, A. M., & Verbiest, S. B. (2017). The fourth trimester: a critical transition period with unmet maternal health needsAmerican Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology217(1), 37-41.
  14. Van Der Zee-Van, A. I., Boere-Boonekamp, M. M., Groothuis-Oudshoorn, C. G., IJzerman, M. J., Haasnoot-Smallegange, R. M., & Reijneveld, S. A. (2017). Post-up study: postpartum depression screening in well-child care and maternal outcomes. Pediatrics, 140(4), e20170110.
  1. Beddoe, A. E., & Lee, K. A. (2008). Mind-body interventions during pregnancyJournal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, 37, 165–175.
  2. Deligiannidis, K. and Freeman, M. (2010). CAM for the Treatment of Depressive Disorders In WomenPsychiatric Clinic N Am., 33: 441‐63.
  3. Dosset, E.C. (2014). The Role of Reproductive Psychiatry in Women’s Mental Health. In edited book, Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan, Springer.
  4. Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Medina, L., Delgado, J., & Hernandez, A. (2012). Yoga and massage therapy reduce prenatal depression and prematurityJournal of bodywork and movement therapies16(2), 204-209.
  5. Ickovics, J. R., Kershaw, T. S., Westdahl, C., Magriples, U., Massey, Z., Reynolds, H., & Rising, S. S. (2007). Group prenatal care and perinatal outcomes: a randomized controlled trialObstetrics & Gynecology110(2 Pt 1), 330.
  6. Leahy-Warren, P., McCarthy, G. & Corcoran, P. (2012). First-time mothers: social support, maternal parental self-efficacy, and postnatal depressionJournal of Clinical Nursing21, 388–397.
  7. Manber, R., Schnyer, R. N., Lyell, D., Chambers, A. S., Caughey, A. B., Druzin, M. & Allen, J. J. (2010). Acupuncture for depression during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trialObstetrics & Gynecology115(3), 511-520.
  8. Reay, R. E., Mulcahy, R., Wilkinson, R. B., Owen, C., Shadbolt, B., & Raphael, B. (2012). The development and content of an interpersonal psychotherapy group for postnatal depressionInternational Journal of Group Psychotherapy62(2), 221–251.
  9. Sockol, L. E. (2018). A systematic review and meta-analysis of interpersonal psychotherapy for perinatal womenJournal of affective disorders.
  10. Sockol, L. E., Epperson, C. N., & Barber, J. P. (2011). A meta-analysis of treatments for perinatal depressionClinical psychology review31(5), 839-849.
  11. Werner, E. A., Gustafsson, H. C., Lee, S., Feng, T., Jiang, N., Desai, P., & Monk, C. (2016). PREPP: postpartum depression prevention through the mother–infant dyadArchives of women’s mental health19(2), 229-242.
  1. Yim I.S., Tanner Stapleton L.R., Guardino C.M., Hahn Holbrook J., Dunkel Schetter C. (2015). Biological and psychosocial predictors of postpartum depression: systematic review and call for integrationAnnual Review Clinical Psychology, 11:99–137.
  2. Kaminsky, Z., Payne, J. (2014). Seeing the future: epigenetic biomarkers of postpartum depression,Neuropsychopharmacology. 39(1): 233-4. Doi: 10.1038/npp.2013.239.
  3. Skalkidou, A., Hellgren, C., Comasco, E., Sylvén, S., & Poromaa, I. S. (2012). Biological aspects of postpartum depressionWomen’s health, 8(6), 659-671.
  4. Corwin EJ, Pajer K (2008). The psychoneuroimmunology of postpartum depressionJournal of Women’s Health 17(9):1529–34. doi:10.1089/jwh.2007.0725.
  5. Coussons-Read ME (2012). The psychoneuroimmunology of stress in pregnancyCurrent Directions in Psychological Science 21(5):323–328. doi:10.1177/0963721412453720.
  6. Christian LM (2012). Psychoneuroimmunology in pregnancy: immune pathways linking stress with maternal health, adverse birth outcomes, and fetal developmentNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 36(1):350–61. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.07.005.
  7. Accortt, E. E., Schetter, C. D., Peters, R. M., & Cassidy-Bushrow, A. E. (2016). Lower prenatal vitamin D status and postpartum depressive symptomatology in African American women: preliminary evidence for moderation by inflammatory cytokinesArchives of women’s mental health, 19(2), 373-383.
  8. Lee, A. M., Lam, S. K., Lau, S. M. S. M., Chong, C. S. Y., Chui, H. W., & Fong, D. Y. T. (2007). Prevalence, course, and risk factors for antenatal anxiety and depressionObstetrics & Gynecology, 110(5), 1102-1112.
  9. Nagl, M., Lehnig, F., Stepan, H., Wagner, B., & Kersting, A. (2017). Associations of childhood maltreatment with pre-pregnancy obesity and maternal postpartum mental health: a cross-sectional studyBMC pregnancy and childbirth17(1), 391.
  10. Russell, E.J., Fawcett, J.M., & Mazmanian, D. (2013). Risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder in pregnant and postpartum women: A meta-analysisJournal of Clinical Psychiatry, 74(4), 377-385.
  11. Wesseloo, R., Kamperman, A.M., Munk-Olsen, T., Pop, V.J.M., Kushner, S.A., & Bergink, V. (2016). Risk of postpartum relapse in bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysisAmerican Journal of Psychiatry, 173(2), 117-127.
  12. Furuta, M., Sandall, J., Cooper, D., & Bick, D. (2014). The relationship between severe maternal morbidity and psychological health symptoms at 6–8 weeks postpartum: a prospective cohort study in one English maternity unitBMC pregnancy and childbirth, 14(1), 1.
  13. Ross, L. E., McQueen, K., Vigod, S., & Dennis, C. L. (2011). Risk for postpartum depression associated with assisted reproductive technologies and multiple births: a systematic reviewHuman reproduction update, 17(1), 96-106.
  14. Blackmore, Emma Robertson, et al. (2011). Previous prenatal loss as a predictor of perinatal depression and anxietyBritish Journal of Psychiatry. 198(50): 373-378.
  1. Ayers, S., Bond, R., Bertullies, S., & Wijma, K. (2016). The aetiology of post-traumatic stress following childbirth: a meta-analysis and theoretical framework. Psychological medicine46(06), 1121-1134.
  2. Bergman, B., Sarkar, P., O’Connor, T.G., Modi, N., Glover, V. (2007). Maternal stress during pregnancy predicts cognitive ability and fearfulness in infancyJ. American Academy Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 46:1454–63.
  3. Buss, C., Davis, E. P., Muftuler, L. T., Head, K., & Sandman, C. A. (2010). High pregnancy anxiety during mid-gestation is associated with decreased gray matter density in 6–9-year-old childrenPsychoneuroendocrinology35(1), 141-153.
  4. Field, Tiffany, Diego, Miguel, Hernandez-Reif, Maria. (2006). Prenatal depression effects on the fetus and newborn: a reviewInfant Behavior & Development. 29, 445-455.
  5. Goodman, J. H., Paternal postpartum depression, its relationship to maternal postpartum depression, and implications for family health. (2004). Journal of Advanced Nursing, 45(1):26-35.
  6. Grote, N. K., Bridge, J. A., Gavin, A. R., Melville, J. L., Iyengar, S., & Katon, W. J. (2010). A meta-analysis of depression during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restrictionArchives of General Psychiatry67(10), 1012-1024.
  7. Guardino, C. M., & Dunkel Schetter, C. (2014). Understanding pregnancy anxiety: Concepts, correlates, and consequencesZero to Three34(4), 12-21.
  8. Huntley, F., Wright, N., Pickles, A., Sharp, H., & Hill, J. (2017). Maternal mental health and child problem behaviours: disentangling the role of depression and borderline personality dysfunctionBritish Journal of Psychiatry Open3(6), 300-305.
  9. Kok, R., Thijssen, S., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J., Jaddoe, V.W., Verhulst, F.C., White, T., van IJzendoorn, M.H., and Tiemeier, H. (2015). Normal variation in early parental sensitivity predicts child structural brain developmentJournal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry54(10), 824-831.
  10. Paulson, J.F., et al.  Individual and combined effects of postpartum depression in mothers and fathers on parenting behavior. (2006). Pediatrics118(2): 659-68.
  11. Paulson, J. F., & Bazemore, S. D. (2010). Prenatal and postpartum depression in fathers and its association with maternal depression: a meta-analysisJAMA303(19), 1961-1969.
  12. Reed, R., Sharman, R., & Inglis, C. (2017). Women’s descriptions of childbirth trauma relating to care provider actions and interactionsBMC pregnancy and childbirth17(1), 21.
  13. Rizzo, K. M., Schiffrin, H. H., & Liss, M. (2013). Insight into the parenthood paradox: Mental health outcomes of intensive mothering. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22(5), 614-620.
  14. Van den Bergh, B.R.H., Maarten, M., Veerle, S., Van de Meere, .J, Borger, N., et al. (2006). ADHD deficit as measured in adolescent boys with a continuous performance task is related to antenatal maternal anxietyPediatr. Res., 59:78–82.
  15. Wu, V., East, P., Delker, E., Blanco, E., Caballero, G., Delva, J., & Gahagan, S. (2018). Associations Among Mothers’ Depression, Emotional and Learning‐Material Support to Their Child, and Children’s Cognitive Functioning: A 16‐Year Longitudinal Study. Child development.
  1. Payne, J. L., & Maguire, J. (2019). Pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in postpartum depression. Frontiers in neuroendocrinology52, 165-180.
  2. Walton, N., & Maguire, J. (2019). Allopregnanolone-based treatments for postpartum depression: Why/how do they work?Neurobiology of stress11, 100198.
  3. Duarte-Guterman, P., Leuner, B., & Galea, L. A. (2019). The long and short term effects of motherhood on the brain. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology, 53, 100740. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2019.02.004
  4. Swenson, C. W., DePorre, J. A., Haefner, J. K., Berger, M. B., & Fenner, D. E. (2018). Postpartum depression screening and pelvic floor symptoms among women referred to a specialty postpartum perineal clinic. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology218(3), 335-e1.
  5. Pawluski, J. L., Lonstein, J. S., & Fleming, A. S. (2017). The neurobiology of postpartum anxiety and depressionTrends in Neurosciences40(2), 106-120.
  1. Bina, R.  The impact of cultural factors upon postpartum depression: a literature reviewHealth Care Women International, 2008 July 29: 568-92.
  2. Corwin, E. J., Guo, Y., Pajer, K., Lowe, N., McCarthy, D., Schmiege, S & Stafford, B. (2013). Immune dysregulation and glucocorticoid resistance in minority and low income pregnant womenPsychoneuroendocrinology38(9), 1786-1796.
  3. Gordon, D. M., Campbell, C., Washington, K., Albritton, T., Divney, A., Magriples, U., & Kershaw, T. (2016). The Influence of General Discrimination and Social Context on Young Urban Expecting Couples’ Mental HealthJournal of child and family studies25(4), 1284-1294.
  4. Fellmeth, G., Fazel, M., Plugge, E. Migration and perinatal mental health in women from low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis.  BJOG. 2016 June 20. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.14184
  5. Halbreich, U., & Karkun, S. (2006). Cross-cultural and social diversity of prevalence of postpartum depression and depressive symptomsJournal of affective disorders91(2), 97-111.
  6. Hodgkinson, S., Beers, L., Southammakosane, C., & Lewin, A. (2014). Addressing the mental health needs of pregnant and parenting adolescentsPediatrics133(1), 114-122.
  7. Kozhimannil, K. B., Trinacty, C. M., Busch, A. B., Huskamp, H. A., & Adams, A. S. (2011). Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Postpartum Depression Care Among Low-Income WomenPsychiatric Services (Washington, D.C.)62(6), 619–625.
  8. Mukherjee, S., Trepka, M. J., Pierre-Victor, D., Bahelah, R., & Avent, T. (2016). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Antenatal Depression in the United States: A Systematic ReviewMaternal and child health journal, 1-18.
  9. O’Brien, A. P., McNeil, K. A., Fletcher, R., Conrad, A., Wilson, A. J., Jones, D., & Chan, S. W. (2017). New Fathers’ Perinatal Depression and Anxiety—Treatment Options: An Integrative ReviewAmerican journal of men’s health11(4), 863-876.
  10. Rosenthal, L., Earnshaw, V. A., Lewis, T. T., Reid, A. E., Lewis, J. B., Stasko, E. C., … & Ickovics, J. R. (2015). Changes in experiences with discrimination across pregnancy and postpartum: Age differences and consequences for mental healthAmerican journal of public health105(4), 686-693.
  11. Ross, L.E. (2005). Perinatal mental health in lesbian mothers: a review of potential risk and protective factorsWomen Health41(3),113-28.
  12. Segre LS, O’Hara MW, Losch ME. (2006). Race/ethnicity and perinatal depressed moodJ Reprod Infant Psychol, 24(02):99–106. doi:10.1080/02646830600643908
  13. Wildemana, C., Schnittkerb, J., & Turney, K. (2012). Despair by Association? The Mental Health of Mothers with Children by Recently Incarcerated FathersAmerican Sociological Review77(2), 216-243.
  1. Giallo, R., Pilkington, P., McDonald, E., Gartland, D., Woolhouse, H., & Brown, S. (2017). Physical, sexual and social health factors associated with the trajectories of maternal depressive symptoms from pregnancy to 4 years postpartumSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology52(7), 815-828.
  2. Zielinski, R., Low, L. K., Smith, A. R., & Miller, J. M. (2017). Body after baby: a pilot survey of genital body image and sexual esteem following vaginal birthInternational journal of women’s health9, 189.
  3. Patel, A., Sharma, P., & Kumar, P. (2018). “In Cycles of Dreams, Despair, and Desperation:” Research Perspectives on Infertility Specific Distress in Patients Undergoing Fertility Treatments. Journal of human reproductive sciences11(4), 320–328. doi:10.4103/jhrs.JHRS_42_18
  4. Jaworski, M., Panczyk, M., Królewicz, I., Belowska, J., Krasuski, T., & Gotlib, J. (2019). Partner’s support during pregnancy as the mediator of women’s sexual satisfaction after childbirth. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 1-15.
  5. DeJudicibus, M. A., & Mccabe, M. P. (2002). Psychological factors and the sexuality of pregnant and postpartum women. Journal of Sex Research, 39(2), 94–103. doi: 10.1080/00224490209552128
  6. Leeman, L. M., & Rogers, R. G. (2012). Sex After Childbirth. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 119(3), 647–655. doi: 10.1097/aog.0b013e3182479611
  7. Moel, J. E., Buttner, M. M., O’Hara, M. W., Stuart, S., & Gorman, L. (2010). Sexual function in the postpartum period: effects of maternal depression and interpersonal psychotherapy treatment. Archives of Womens Mental Health, 13(6), 495–504. doi: 10.1007/s00737-010-0168-0
  8. Andreucci, C. B., Bussadori, J. C., Pacagnella, R. C., Chou, D., Filippi, V., Say, L., & Cecatti, J. G. (2015). Sexual life and dysfunction after maternal morbidity: a systematic reviewBMC pregnancy and childbirth15(1), 307.
  9. Barbara, G., Pifarotti, P., Facchin, F., Cortinovis, I., Dridi, D., Ronchetti, C., … & Vercellini, P. (2016). Impact of mode of delivery on female postpartum sexual functioning: spontaneous vaginal delivery and operative vaginal delivery vs cesarean section. The journal of sexual medicine13(3), 393-401.
  10. Clayton, A., Keller, A., & McGarvey, E. L. (2006). Burden of phase-specific sexual dysfunction with SSRIsJournal of affective disorders91(1), 27-32.
  11. Fortuna, L. R., Noroña, C. R., Porche, M. V., Tillman, C., Patil, P. A., Wang, Y., … & Alegria, M. (2019). Trauma, immigration, and sexual health among Latina women: Implications for maternal–child well‐being and reproductive justice. Infant mental health journal.
  12. Fodstad, K., Staff, A. C., & Laine, K. (2016). Sexual activity and dyspareunia the first year postpartum in relation to degree of perineal trauma. International urogynecology journal27(10), 1513-1523.
  13. Hodgson, B., Kukkonen, T. M., Binik, Y. M., & Carrier, S. (2016). Using the dual control model to investigate the relationship between mood, genital, and self-reported sexual arousal in men and women. The Journal of Sex Research53(8), 979-993.


The research committee is looking for research participation opportunities to share with our members on the Maternal Mental Health NOW website. If you are involved with an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved research study focused on perinatal mental health, please email the following to [email protected]:

  1. Contact Info: University/College, name of team members
  2. A high quality PDF of your research flyer (with IRB number) and logo (as applicable)
  3. A brief (2 sentence) description of the population you seek, e.g. pregnant women or mothers of 1-4 year olds

For an example, please click here. The committee will review your materials and let you know whether the project will be showcased on the website.

Maternal Mental Health NOW | Research
Maternal Mental Health NOW | Research


If you are interested in participating in local research studies, please click here for current opportunities. We make certain that all studies represented are certified by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) and are appropriate for our members. However, Maternal Mental Health Now does not endorse or financially support any of these studies and therefore has no vested interest. Apply to participate at your own risk/benefit.

The Provide Study:
Obstetrics Clinical Trials

UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
Black Mothers’ Wellness
Research Study


Stay up to date on upcoming trainings, events, advocacy activities, new perinatal mental health resources and opportunities to get involved.