Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Frerichs, Marian

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Nursing


Pregnancy--Psychological aspects; Stress (Psychology)


The purpose of this study was to provide additional data on the relationship between maternal stress in pregnancy and the duration of pregnancy. The Modified Life Events Inventory, with minor revisions by the investigator, was the instrument used to ascertain the amount of stress incurred during pregnancy by a group of 50 women who were interviewed shortly after the delivery of their first child. All the subjects were young adult, black, economically disadvangaged, unmarried urban residents. Twenty-five had delivered prematurely, and 25 had delivered at term. The mean number of life events experienced during pregnancy and the mean stress scores of the term and preterm groups were compared. Individual stress scores were correlated with the duration of pregnancy. All three null hypotheses were rejected. The group of preterm women had a significantly higher mean number of experienced life events and mean total stress scores than the term group. A significant negative correlation was found between individual stress scores and pregnancy duration. The findings suggest that, for this group of women, stress in the form of life change in pregnancy was associated with a shortened duration of pregnancy.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 72 pages




Northern Illinois University

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