Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name




First Advisor

Judith E. Fry-McComish


Psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy among urban African-American women has not been well-researched. The purpose of this study was to examine predictors of psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy and to explore relationships among socioeconomic status, experiences and frequency of discrimination, personal control beliefs, social support, planned pregnancy, and model of health care among urban African-American primiparas using life course theory and Lederman's model of psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy as the framework.

One hundred and nine women participated in this descriptive, cross-sectional, correlational study. Participants were recruited from three clinical sites that provided care using medical and/or midwifery models of care. Study variables were measured using the Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire - II; Internality, Powerful Others, and Chance Scales; Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire; Experiences of Discrimination instrument; and a researcher-developed Demographics and Personal Characteristics Questionnaire.

Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to describe the sample and identify predictors of psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy. Higher adaptation was associated with social support received from the woman's partner or mother, a relationship with the father of the baby, planned pregnancy, and receiving care from a Certified Nurse-Midwife. Lower adaptation to pregnancy was associated with the personal control belief of chance. Five variables predicted psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy and explained 29% of the variance: personal control belief of chance, current relationship with father of the baby, planned pregnancy, midwifery model of care, and affirmation social support provided by the woman's mother.

Knowledge of predictors of psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy assists health care providers to develop and implement intervention strategies to assess relationships important to urban African-American first-time mothers and provide needed support during the transition to motherhood. This study explored predictors of adaptation in a previously unstudied population, urban African-American primiparas; and added two new predictors to the existing body of literature regarding psychosocial adaptation to pregnancy: affirmation support provided by the woman's mother, and midwifery care.

Included in

Nursing Commons