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Keywords:

  • pregnancy;
  • coping;
  • anxiety;
  • depression

Abstract

The aims of this study were to analyze the coping strategies used by women in the first trimester of low-risk pregnancies, their relationships to sociodemographic and pregnancy variables, and their ability to predict anxiety and depression in the third trimester. Participants in the first trimester were 285 Spanish pregnant women, of whom 122 were followed into the third trimester. The use of problem-focused coping was stable, whereas variations occurred in emotion-focused coping. Age, educational level, employment, planned pregnancy, previous childbirth, and previous miscarriage were associated with adaptive coping. Coping strategies predicting anxiety and depressive symptoms were overt emotional expression and social support seeking. Coping through religion predicted anxiety. Coping is a complex process influenced by sociodemographic and obstetric factors that can contribute to the onset of psychological symptoms. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 36:54–64, 2013