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Self-Criticism and Self-Compassion as Mediators of the Relationship between Alexithymia and Postpartum Depressive Symptoms

Andrei, A-M., Webb, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8862-6491 & Enea, V. (2023). Self-Criticism and Self-Compassion as Mediators of the Relationship between Alexithymia and Postpartum Depressive Symptoms. Psihologija, 56(2), pp. 145-162. doi: 10.2298/psi220422002a


Postpartum depression (PPD) is common after birth and can have a profound effect on women and their families. It is therefore important to understand the conditions and factors that lead to the occurrence and maintenance of PPD. The first aim of the current study was to identify whether there is a relationship between alexithymia and postpartum depressive symptoms (PPDS) in a sample of Romanian mothers. The second aim was to explore whether self-criticism and self-compassion mediate the relationship between alexithymia and PPDS. The current cross-sectional study included 307 mothers with babies aged between four weeks and one year. The results show that alexithymia, self-compassion, self-criticism, PPDS all correlated with one another, and self-criticism, self-compassion and alexithymia are significant predictors of PPDS. Moreover, self-criticism and self-compassion mediated the relationship between alexithymia and PPDS. A psychological therapy that increases self-compassion and reduces alexithymia and self-criticism may be beneficial for preventing symptoms of PPD.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 by authors. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Publisher Keywords: alexithymia; self-criticism; self -compassion; postpartum depressive symptoms
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
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