Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy
Open Access

ISSN: 2161-0487

+44 1478 350008


Development of a Pre- and Postnatal Bonding Scale (PPBS)

Cuijlits I, van de Wetering AP, Potharst ES, Truijens SE, van Baar AL and Pop VJ

Objectives: Bonding is a major topic in the field of developmental psychology, due to its importance for adequate child’s development. Studies investigating the relationship between prenatal and postnatal bonding show moderate correlations. However, an important limitation is that no similar instrument was used to measure bonding pre- and postnatally. For the current study, a user-friendly questionnaire was developed to assess maternal bonding during pregnancy and postpartum. Psychometric properties were investigated. Methods: In a large sample of 1,050 pregnant women, 14 positive items, based on the literature, were used to construct a pre- and postnatal bonding questionnaire. The sample was randomly split into two equal subsamples: group I was used for reliability and Exploratory Factor Analysis, group II for Confirmatory Factor Analysis. The bonding scale was assessed at 32 weeks’ pregnancy and at eight and 12 months postpartum. The Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) and the subscale Partner Involvement of the Tilburg Pregnancy Distress Scale (TPDS) were used to assess construct validity. Results: After CFA, a five-item bonding scale remained with excellent model fit (CFI: 0.97, TLI: 0.97, NFI: 0.98; RMSEA: 0.06, lower bound 0.03. Cronbach alpha’s at 32 weeks’ gestation and at eight and 12 months postpartum were: 0.87, 0.80 and 0.79, respectively. Test-retest correlations of the PPBS at 32 weeks’ gestation and at eight and 12 months postpartum were high: 0.42 and 0.41, and 0.67 between eight and 12 months postpartum, respectively. At 32 weeks’ gestation, the PPBS correlated significantly with partner support (TPDS): 0.38. and depression (EDS): -0.24. Similar correlations with depression were found at eight and 12 months postpartum. Conclusion: The five-item PPBS seems to be a user-friendly self-rating scale with good psychometric properties and construct validity, both pre- and postnatally.