Stress management during pregnancy: An investigation of the psychosocial, behavioral, and cognitive correlates

Leanne Marie Mauriello, University of Rhode Island


Health professionals recognize and study the multitude of health risks initated by the occurrence of stress during childbearing months. However, very few researchers have examined how women cope with or manage stress during pregnancy. In this study preliminary measurement and prediction analyses were conducted to initiate research on stress management during pregnancy using the framework of the Transtheoretical Model. A sample of 156 pregnant women was recruited from waiting rooms at midwife and obstetrician offices. Measures of decisional balance, confidence, stress, and coping specific to a pregnant population were developed. Exploratory measurement analyses produced relatively brief and internally consistent instruments that validate the empirical relationships posited by the Transtheoretical Model. Further, prediction analyses offered insight into the correlates of stress, coping, and effective stress management practice. Three Transtheoretical Model constructs, pros, cons, and confidence, were significant predictors of stress level and accounted for 36% of the variance. Confidence and three stress management behaviors, time management, positive self-talk, and fun, were predictive of higher coping and accounted for 47.6% of the variance. Stress management behaviors, coping behaviors, social support, and a healthy pattern of behaviors were shown to be the best predictors of effective stress management for pregnant women and correctly classified 58.1% of participants in the correct stage of change. This exploratory study offers reliable instruments and new insights to direct future intervention work aimed at encouraging women to cope effectively with the stress they encounter during pregnancy. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Behavioral|Psychology, Social|Health Sciences, Public Health|Psychology, Psychometrics

Recommended Citation

Leanne Marie Mauriello, "Stress management during pregnancy: An investigation of the psychosocial, behavioral, and cognitive correlates" (2003). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI3103710.