Maternal and Fetal Representations, Dimensions of Personality, and Prenatal Attachment in Women Hospitalized with High Risk Pregnancy




Brandon, Anna Rachel

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The present study investigated the effects of self-criticism, dependency, object representation, and risk upon maternal antenatal attachment in women hospitalized during pregnancy with high risk of maternal or fetal demise. Ninety-one women completed the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (Blatt, D'Affliti, and Quinlan, 1976), the Object Relations Inventory (Blatt et al.,1992), the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (Condon, 1973), the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (Cox, Holden, and Sagovsky, 1987) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (Unauthored, 1999) within the first three days of hospital admission. No relationship was indicated between maternal representations and antenatal fetal attachment, nor was there a correlation between maternal representation and fetal representation. Self-critical mothers significantly scored lower in the measure of antenatal attachment quality and endorsed a higher number of depressive symptoms. Mothers hospitalized because of maternal risk were not significantly different in their reports of attachment than were mothers hospitalized because of fetal risk, and no significant differences were found across severity of risk factors as evaluated by the Hobel Risk Assessment. Consistent with previous research, depressive symptomatology was associated with a lower quality of maternal antenatal attachment overall. Results suggest that maternal narratives may not be significantly linked with reported antenatal attachment and depressive symptoms have a stronger association with reductions of antenatal attachment than dependent or self-critical tendencies.

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