Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Women's Word Use in Pregnancy: Associations With Maternal Characteristics, Prenatal Stress, and Neonatal Birth Outcome


Schoch-Ruppen, Jessica; Ehlert, Ulrike; Uggowitzer, Franziska; Weymerskirch, Nadine; La Marca-Ghaemmaghami, Pearl (2018). Women's Word Use in Pregnancy: Associations With Maternal Characteristics, Prenatal Stress, and Neonatal Birth Outcome. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:1234.

Abstract

Experiencing high levels of stress during pregnancy can impair maternal well-being and fetal development. Consequently, unbiased assessment of maternal psychological state is crucial. Self-report measures are vulnerable to social desirability effects. Thus, implicit measures, such as word choice analysis, may offer an alternative. In this longitudinal online-study, 427 pregnant women described their emotional experiences in writing and additionally responded to self-report questionnaires assessing symptoms of prenatal stress and depression. The written texts were analyzed with a computerized text analysis program. After birth, 253 women provided information on birth outcome. Word use differed significantly depending on maternal socioeconomic (e.g., marital status) and pregnancy-related characteristics (e.g., parity). Prenatal stress and depressive symptoms were associated with more frequent use of negative emotion words and words of anxiety, as well as with less first-person plural, but not singular pronoun use. Negative emotion and cognitive mechanism words predicted birth outcome, while self-report measures did not. In addition to self-report measures, word choice may serve as a useful screening tool for symptoms of depression and stress in pregnant women. The findings on pronoun use may reflect women's changing experience of self-identity during the transition to motherhood.

Abstract

Experiencing high levels of stress during pregnancy can impair maternal well-being and fetal development. Consequently, unbiased assessment of maternal psychological state is crucial. Self-report measures are vulnerable to social desirability effects. Thus, implicit measures, such as word choice analysis, may offer an alternative. In this longitudinal online-study, 427 pregnant women described their emotional experiences in writing and additionally responded to self-report questionnaires assessing symptoms of prenatal stress and depression. The written texts were analyzed with a computerized text analysis program. After birth, 253 women provided information on birth outcome. Word use differed significantly depending on maternal socioeconomic (e.g., marital status) and pregnancy-related characteristics (e.g., parity). Prenatal stress and depressive symptoms were associated with more frequent use of negative emotion words and words of anxiety, as well as with less first-person plural, but not singular pronoun use. Negative emotion and cognitive mechanism words predicted birth outcome, while self-report measures did not. In addition to self-report measures, word choice may serve as a useful screening tool for symptoms of depression and stress in pregnant women. The findings on pronoun use may reflect women's changing experience of self-identity during the transition to motherhood.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

38 downloads since deposited on 11 Sep 2018
38 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
08 Research Priority Programs > Dynamics of Healthy Aging
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Date:2018
Deposited On:11 Sep 2018 14:57
Last Modified:30 Sep 2018 23:59
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01234
PubMed ID:30087634
Project Information:
  • : FunderSophie von Liechtenstein Foundation for Woman and Child and the Foundation Propter Homines (to UE)
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title

Download

Download PDF  'Women's Word Use in Pregnancy: Associations With Maternal Characteristics, Prenatal Stress, and Neonatal Birth Outcome'.
Preview
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 377kB
View at publisher
Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)