Anxiety, depression, dyadic adjustment, and attachment to the fetus in pregnancy: Actor—partner interdependence mediation analysis.

Perinatal research has focused essentially on maternal outcomes leaving paternal outcomes unexplored. This cross-sectional study aimed to explore the intrapersonal and interpersonal effects of mothers’ and fathers’ anxiety and depressive symptoms on their own and their partners’ antenatal attachment to the fetus. Additionally, it aimed to explore the mediating role of dyadic adjustment on these associations. Participants, 320 pregnant women and their partners, completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and the Maternal and Paternal Antenatal Attachment Scale. Data were analyzed using the actor—partner interdependence mediation model. Mothers’ (ß = −.16, p < .01) and fathers' depressive symptoms (ß = âˆ'.38, p < .001) were associated with their levels of antenatal attachment to the fetus. These relationships, however, were mediated by levels of dyadic adjustment (ß = âˆ'.08, p < .05; ß = âˆ'.09, p < .05, respectively). Fathers' anxiety symptoms were associated with their levels of antenatal attachment to the fetus (ß = .16, p < .05). This relationship was partially mediated by their levels of dyadic adjustment (ß = âˆ'.05, p < .05). Finally, fathers' depressive symptoms were associated with mothers' levels of antenatal attachment to the fetus through the mothers' dyadic adjustment levels (ß = âˆ'.06, p < .05). Results indicated that anxiety and depressive symptoms as well as lower levels of dyadic adjustment during pregnancy seem to negatively impact the levels of antenatal attachment to the fetus, especially for fathers. Results highlight the need to adopt a dyadic perspective to understand mothers' and fathers' outcomes during pregnancy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)