Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 809–815 | Cite as

The relationship between conformity to male and female gender norms and depression during pregnancy

  • Laura Esteban-Gonzalo
  • María Esperanza Manso-Martínez
  • Paloma Botín-González
  • Bienvenida Manchado-Simal
  • Rosa Mª Rodrigo-de-Frutos
  • Juan Luis González-PascualEmail author
Original Article


To analyze whether there is an association between conformity to male and female gender norms and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score as an indicator of depression during pregnancy, a cross-sectional study was made to a sample of 200 pregnant women being seen at any of the public primary care centers in Segovia (Spain) for the prenatal care. A score of 13 points or higher on the Spanish version of the EPDS is considered to be an indicator of antenatal depression. The Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory (CFNI-84) and the Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory (CMNI-94) were used to determine the degree of conformity to gender norms. Descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as multivariate analysis, were carried out. Logistic regression analysis showed the Nice in Relationships Subscale score to be associated with a decreased risk of depression (OR = 0.88; 95%CI 0.79–0.98; p = 0.029). In addition, the CMNI total score, as well as the Self-Reliance subscale, were associated with an increased risk of depression (OR = 1.04; 95%CI 1.01–1.07; p = 0.022; OR = 1.30; 95%CI 1.08–1.55; p = 0.004, respectively). An association between conformity to male gender norms and nonconformity to some female gender norms in pregnant women and a score on the EPDS indicating depression during pregnancy was found. Particularly, an increase in the CMNI total score was associated to increased risk of suffering depression in the pregnant women studied.


Antenatal depression Gender norms Conformity to Feminine Norms Inventory Conformity to Masculine Norms Inventory Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale 


Compliance with ethical standards

The study was developed in accordance with the international ethical recommendations for human research and clinical trials of the Declaration of Helsinki.

This research obtained a favorable report from the Commission of Research of Health Management of Segovia (CIGSS) and was financed with 7224 Euros for Research Grants issued by the Castile and León Health Authority (SACyL) in 2016, file GRS 1287/B/16.

Female participants signed a written consent form. All women scoring 13 or higher on the EPDS were referred to their primary care physician for assessment.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Nursing DepartmentUniversidad Europea de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Nursing Department, Castilla y León Health Service (SACyL)Universidad Europea de MadridSegoviaSpain
  3. 3.Castilla y León Health Service (SACyL)SegoviaSpain
  4. 4.Castilla y León Health Service (SACyL)SegoviaSpain
  5. 5.Castilla y León Health Service (SACyL)SegoviaSpain

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