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Application of a stress and coping model to antenatal depressive symptomatology

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This study examined the utility of a stress/coping model of antenatal depressive symptomatology. The direct and moderating effects of appraisal, coping resources and coping strategies on depression were explored. A total of 242 primiparous women completed questionnaires during the third trimester of pregnancy. Predictors included life events, coping resources (social support, quality of women's earlier relationships with parents), appraisal (threat, self-efficacy) and coping strategies (wishful thinking, positive reappraisal, problem solving, emotional approach). Results of regression analyses indicated that higher depression was related to higher stressful life events, threat appraisal and wishful thinking coping, and lower positive reappraisal coping. The expected stress exacerbation effects of wishful thinking on depression were supported. There was no support for the expected stress buffering effects of coping resources and coping strategies on depression. Findings provide preliminary support for the use of a stress/coping model to guide future research into psychosocial predictors of antenatal depression.
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Keywords: Antenatal depression; coping; pregnancy; social support; stress

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Psychology, University of Queensland,

Publication date: May 1, 2007

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