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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 2008 Jun;29(2):97-104. doi: 10.1080/01674820701690624.

Types, patterns, and predictors of coping with stress during pregnancy: examination of the Revised Prenatal Coping Inventory in a diverse sample.

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Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, NY, USA.


The present study investigated coping in early, mid-, and late pregnancy in 321 ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women of varying medical risk. The goal was to determine how women cope with stress across pregnancy and to explore the association of coping with maternal characteristics, stress perceptions, disposition, and social support. Factor analysis of the Revised Prenatal Coping Inventory revealed three distinct types of coping: Planning-Preparation, Avoidance, and Spiritual-Positive Coping. Spiritual coping was used most frequently during pregnancy; avoidant coping was used least often. As hypothesized, use of spiritual coping and avoidance differed across pregnancy. Planning was used more consistently across time. Multivariate regression analyses revealed that the strongest predictors of planning were high optimism and pregnancy-specific distress. Avoidance was most strongly predicted by high state anxiety and pregnancy-specific distress. Greater religiosity and optimism were the strongest predictors of spiritual coping. These results add to a body of evidence that women use distinctive and varied strategies to manage stress prenatally. They also suggest that coping is responsive to changing demands across pregnancy and reflective of women's characteristics, perceptions, and social situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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