The current longitudinal study is focused on parental depression during the first year post-adoption. Specifically it was aimed at: a) investigating post-adoption depression incidence and trends among adoptive couples; b) identifying risk factor associated to couples’ post-adoption depression, considering the parent-child relationship, the couple relationship, and the relationship with the social context and c) evaluating the association between partner’s levels of depression within the couple, and trends over time. In all the analyses mothers and fathers’ perceptions were compared. Participants were 45 adoptive couples (90 subjects) and they filled out two self-report questionnaire: the first one within two months after child’s arrival in the family, and the second one a year later. Results showed that both for mothers and fathers mean scores were far below the clinical threshold and stable over time. About 40% of parents showed an increase of depression mean scores over time and for fathers this increase significantly correlated with parenting stress levels reported in Time 2. A mutual influence between the levels of depression within the couple emerged, although moderate.
Keywords: Post-adoption depression, adoptive parents, longitudinal study, parenting stress, couple relationship, social support.