The association between social support and levels of psychological distress in pregnant women in Australia

Mervin, Merehau Cindy, Byrnes, Joshua, Shibl, Rania, Scuffham, Paul, & Cameron, Cate (2014) The association between social support and levels of psychological distress in pregnant women in Australia. International Journal of Maternal and Child Health, 2(1), pp. 21-26.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore associations between forms of social support and levels of psychological distress during pregnancy. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of 2,743 pregnant women from south-east Queensland, Australia, was conducted utilising data collected between 2007-2011 as part of the Environments for Healthy Living (EFHL) project, Griffith University. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler 6; social support was measured using the following four factors: living with a partner, living with parents or in-laws, self-perceived social network, and area satisfaction. Data were analysed using an ordered logistic regression model controlling for a range of socio-demographic factors. Results: There was an inverse association between self-perceived strength of social networks and levels of psychological distress (OR = 0.77; 95%CI: 0.70, 0.85) and between area satisfaction and levels of psychological distress (OR = 0.77; 95%CI: 0.69, 0.87). There was a direct association between living with parents or in-laws and levels of psychological distress (OR = 1.50; 95%CI: 1.16, 1.96). There was no statistically significant association between living with a partner and the level of psychological distress of the pregnant woman after accounting for household income. Conclusion: Living with parents or in-laws is a strong marker for psychological distress. Strategies aiming to build social support networks for women during pregnancy have the potential to provide a significant benefit. Policies promoting stable family relationships and networks through community development could also be effective in promoting the welfare of pregnant women.

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ID Code: 73891
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Psychological Distress, Social Support, Pregnant Women, Public Health
DOI: 10.12966/ijmch.02.03.2014
ISSN: 2330-3417
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Family Care (111707)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author(s)
Copyright Statement: Creative Common Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)
Deposited On: 14 Jul 2014 22:38
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2014 00:13

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