Maternal Anxiety and Infant Health Care Use
In a National Institute of Mental Health-funded prospective longitudinal study, Assistant Professor Tracy Moran examined predictors of the use of infant health care during the first six months of life. She examined a number of maternal psychosocial, demographic, and enabling variables (i.e., insurance, proximity to physician).
The findings highlighted the significant influence of the mother’s anxiety symptoms and the opinions of the mothers’ social supports regarding the infant’s need for health care. Moran intends to address the implications of the findings by working with prospective parents and their social supports. In addition, Moran hopes to partner with pediatric nurses and physicians to foster an appreciation of infant mental health and the use of available parent-infant psychosocial interventions when appropriate.
Finally, Moran is working with a colleague at the University of Pennsylvania to validate a new measure of postpartum anxiety that may be useful in obstetric and gynecologic as well as pediatric health care contexts.