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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2004 Nov-Dec;33(6):739-47.

Effects of spirituality and psychosocial well-being on health risk behaviors in Appalachian pregnant women.

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  • 1School of Nursing, East Carolina University, 214 Rivers West, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.



To determine the relationships of spirituality and psychosocial well-being to health risk behaviors in pregnant Appalachian women.


Descriptive study of 120 women between 16 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The instruments used were the Spiritual Perspective Scale and religiosity items from the Jarel Well-Being Scale. Psychosocial well-being was measured by the Prenatal Psychosocial Profile. Four items measured health risk behaviors.


Higher levels of spirituality (spiritual perspective and religiosity) were significantly correlated with greater satisfaction with social support, higher levels of self-esteem, and decreased levels of smoking. Sociodemographic, psychosocial, and spiritual variables explained 25% of the variance in frequency of smoking, and in the logistic regression analysis, psychosocial stress was the only variable that significantly predicted substance use.


Higher levels of spirituality and lower levels of stress are associated with decreased health risk behaviors among pregnant women from Appalachia. Increasing spiritual resources and decreasing stress during pregnancy offer the potential to improve health promotion efforts in pregnancy with women from Appalachia.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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