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How mothers feel: validation of a measure of maternal mood

Savage-McGlynn, Emily; Martin, Colin; Redshaw, Maggie


Emily Savage-McGlynn

Colin Martin

Maggie Redshaw


Early identification of mood disturbance is crucial to monitor and improve outcomes for women perinatally, when low mood may affect developing relationships with the baby, partner and family. Instruments such as the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale are used routinely, however, there is evidence that some women do not feel comfortable with the way they are asked about their mental health and wellbeing.
To develop a mood checklist as a user friendly and effective measure of wellbeing in postpartum women, for use by health professionals.
Cognitive interviews with women who had recently given birth assessed the response format and face validity of a prototype measure and a cross-sectional survey followed. Analysis required a random split-half instrument development protocol. Exploratory factor analysis on the first sample determined factor structure. The second sample was used to confirm factor structure and evaluate key psychometric variables and known-groups discriminant validity (KGDV) which required a supplementary between-subjects design with stratification based on case negative/case positive classification using Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale screening cut-off criteria.
The cognitive interview data confirmed the face validity of the content and response format. Exploratory factor analysis indicated a two-factor model with two (negatively) correlated factors and comprised 18-items. Factor 1 loaded with items reflecting positive mood and factor 2 reflecting negative aspects. In the confirmatory factor analysis a good fit to the two-factor model was found across the full spectrum of fit indices. Statistically significant differences between groups was observed as a function Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale caseness classification. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the positive and negative sub-scales of the mood checklist revealed acceptable internal consistency of 0.79 and 0.72 respectively.
The outcome checklist may be appropriate for use in clinical practice. It demonstrated effective psychometric properties and clear cross-validation with existing commonly-used measures.

Key words: maternal mood, perinatal, mental health, adjective checklist, Maternal Mood Checklist

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Journal of evaluation in clinical practice
Print ISSN 1356-1294
Electronic ISSN 1365-2753
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Savage-McGlynn, E., Martin, C., & Redshaw, M. (in press). How mothers feel: validation of a measure of maternal mood. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice,
Keywords Maternal mood; Perinatal; Mental health; Adjective checklist; Maternal Mood Checklist


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