International Journal of Pregnancy & Child Birth
Psychological Morbidity, Social Support, and Relationship Intimacy in Pregnant Portuguese Women Short Communication
Abstract Pregnancy can predispose women to stress and depression, with social support and intimacy being protective factors for the development of these disorders. This study evaluated the relationship between stress (various stressors), social support, intimacy and depression in a sample of 169 pregnant women attending the Childbirth Preparation classes. Depressive mood was positively correlated with both stress and satisfaction with social support and intimacy were negatively correlated with stress and depressive. In short, it is pertinent to create networks of support and intervention in stress for the promotion of mental health of pregnant women.
Keywords: Depression; Pregnancy; Intimacy; Social Support; Stress; Depression; Pregnancy
Introduction Prenatal maternal stress has been linked to adverse health outcomes, including mental-health problems . The association between stress during pregnancy and depression is well documented . On the other hand, relationship variables such as social support and relationship intimacy may reduce stress and depressive mood by creating a sense of well-being . Therefore, social support and relationship intimacy are negatively associated with depressive mood and stress [4,5]. This study examined the associations between depressive mood, stress, satisfaction with social support, and relationship intimacy, in pregnant women.
Sample and data collection Pregnant women (N = 169) were recruited in primary care settings in Northern Portugal as they received childbirth classes. Exclusion criteria was the presence of chronic disease (e.g., cancer); cognitive impairment and risk pregnancy. Participation was voluntary and they all signed an informed consent. The participants’ ages ranged from 17 to 41 years, with a mean of 30.14 years (SD= 4.48). The majority of participants were married (68.6%). The number of weeks of pregnancy ranged between 12 and 39 weeks (mean of 31.16 and standard deviation of 5.17 weeks).
The following instruments were used: Demographic and Clinic Questionnaire; Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships Scale (PAIR) ; the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) ; Satisfaction with Social Support Scale (SSSS) ; and the Conservation of Resources-Evaluation Questionnaire (COR-E) .
To analyze the association between depressive mood, stress, Submit Manuscript | http://medcraveonline.com
Volume 2 Issue 6 - 2017
North Regional Health Administration, ACES Cávado III – Barcelos/Esposende, Portugal 2 Department of Psychology, Portuguese Catholic University, Portugal 3 Applied Psychology Department, University of Minho, Portugal 1
*Corresponding author: Eleonora CV Costa, North Regional Health Administration, Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Praça da Faculdade, 1 - 4710-297, Braga, Portugal, Tel: 351-916756289; Email: Received: February 22, 2017 | Published: August 29, 2017
satisfaction with social support, and relationship intimacy, Pearson correlation were performed. Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics of the instruments. Table 1: Descriptive statistics of the Instruments. Minimum
Correlations between depressive mood, stress, social support, and relationship intimacy Depressive mood was positively correlated with stress and satisfaction with social support and relationship intimacy were negatively correlated with both stress and depressive mood (Table 2). Table 2: Correlations between depressive mood, stress, social support, and relationship intimacy. Depressive Mood
Social Support **p<.01
Int J Pregn & Chi Birth 2017, 2(6): 00040
Psychological Morbidity, Social Support, and Relationship Intimacy in Pregnant Portuguese Women
Discussion Our finding that depressive mood is related to stress during pregnancy is indeed consistent with the known association between depression and stressful life events in pregnant women . Additionally, in our sample little satisfaction with social support and poor relationship intimacy were associated with stress and depressive mood, which is also consistent with other studies that show social support and relationship intimacy to be inversely related to stress and depressive mood . Indeed, support from friends and family as well as relationship intimacy may help pregnant women cope with stress by creating a sense of well-being . The findings show the importance of interventions to foster social support and relationship intimacy in pregnant women to help them cope with psychological morbidity during pregnancy. Future studies should use a longitudinal design to assess how social support and relationship intimacy and psychological morbidity change after the baby’s birth and include the father’s perspective as well.
References 1. 2.
Beydoun H, Saftlas AF (2008) Physical and mental health outcomes of prenatal maternal stress in human and animal studies: A review of recent evidence. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 22(5): 438-466.
Ehrlich M, Harville E, Xiong X, Buekens P, Pridjian G, et al. (2010) Loss of resources and hurricane experience as predictors of
3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Copyright: ©2017 Costa et al.
postpartum depression among women in southern Louisiana. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 19(5): 877-884.
Gadalla TM (2009) Determinants, correlates and mediators of psychological distress: A longitudinal study. Soc Sci Med 68(12): 2199-2205. Dunkel Schetter C (2011) Psychological Science on Pregnancy: Stress Processes, Biopsychosocial Models, and Emerging Research Issues. Annu Rev Psychol 62: 531-558.
Hobfoll SE, Johnson RJ, Ennis N, Jackson AP (2003) Resource loss, resource gain, and emotional outcomes among inner city women. J Pers Soc Psychol 84(3): 632-643. Schaefer M, Olson D (1981) Assessing intimacy: The PAIR Inventory. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 7(1): 47-60.
Beck AT, Ward CH, Mendelson M, Mock J, Erbaugh J (1961). An inventory for measuring depression. Arch Gen Psychiatr 4: 561571. Pais-Ribeiro JL (1999) Escala de satisfação com o suporte Social (ESSS). Análise Psicológica, 3 (XVII): 547-558.
Hobfoll SE (1998) Stress, culture, and community: The psychology and philosophy of stress. Plenum Press, New York, USA.
10. Woods SM, Melville JL, Guo Y, Fan MY, Gavin A (2010) Psychosocial stress during pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol 202(1): 61-67.
Citation: Costa ECV, Moreira L, Castanheira E, Correira P, Pereira GM (2017) Psychological Morbidity, Social Support, and Relationship Intimacy in Pregnant Portuguese Women. Int J Pregn & Chi Birth 2(6): 00040. DOI: 10.15406/ipcb.2017.02.00040