2014 Volume 19 Issue 2 Pages 189-196
[Objective] This study aimed to examine the mental health status of mothers and fathers who have children under 6. It looked at the correlations between the mental health status of mothers, quality of marriage and self-esteem. The significance of this study was to offer suggestions for better mental health care for mothers. [Methods] This is a cross-sectional study using self-administered, anonymous questionnaires. Using convenience sampling, questionnaires were distributed to 552 couples and collected by post in prefecture A. The questionnaires gathered information about social background, and included the General Health Questionnaire (henceforth GHQ12), Quality of Marriage Index (henceforth QMI), and Self-Esteem Scale (henceforth SES). Descriptive and multiple regression analyses were mainly used for statistical analyses. [Results] The results showed statistically significant correlations between mothers' GHQ, QMI and SES results. 'Mother's satisfaction with father's child rearing' showed the most significant correlation with mothers' QMI results. QMI results showed a significant correlation with SES results and SES results showed a significant correlation with GHQ results. The same correlations were found for fathers' results, including a correlation between 'father's satisfaction with mother's childrearing' and father's QMI results. [Discussion] This research showed that it is not the quality of the marriage but rather self-esteem which directly affects the mental health of mothers and fathers. Support for fathers' child rearing should improve mothers' perception of the quality of their marriage, raising their self-esteem and consequently improving their mental health. Similar correlations were identified for fathers.