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The Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale: Confirmatory factor analyses and relationships with birth experience

Fallon, V, Davies, SM, Christiansen, P, Harrold, JA and Silverio, SA (2022) The Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale: Confirmatory factor analyses and relationships with birth experience. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 25 (3). pp. 655-665. ISSN 1434-1816

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The Postpartum Specific Anxiety Scale [PSAS] was developed and validated as a research tool with a four-factor structure; with predictive validity corroborated in studies examining infant-feeding and maternal bonding outcomes. The PSAS has not been examined in relation to birth experiences. We aimed to confirm the PSAS four-factor structure and examine these domains of anxiety in relation to subjective and objective birth experiences. Postpartum mothers (≤ 12-months; N = 500) completed the PSAS alongside measures of subjective birth satisfaction and objective obstetric interventions/complications. Confirmatory factor analyses [CFA] tested eight models, theoretically derived from the preceding exploratory work. Structural equation modelling [SEM] tested associations between each PSAS factor and birth experience variables in the best-fitting model. An identical 51-item four-factor model fits the data well. SEM analyses revealed associations between lower perceptions of quality of intrapartum care and increased maternal competence and attachment anxieties, practical infant care anxieties, and infant safety and welfare anxieties. High subjective stress and negative emotional response to labour were associated with increased psychosocial adjustment to motherhood anxieties. Specific associations were found between neonatal care unit admission and practical infant care anxieties; and infant asphyxia and infant safety and welfare anxieties. Findings confirm construct and convergent validity of the four-factor PSAS and its use in measuring postpartum anxiety. Unique associations were also identified, indicating specific subjective and objective experiences occurring during birth may elicit a differential anxiety response, in that they are related to specific forms of postpartum anxiety which occur during the first postpartum year.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Factor Analysis, Statistical; Anxiety; Mothers; Postpartum Period; Pregnancy; Parturition; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Female; Birth experience; Birth satisfaction; Child-bearing specific measures of mood; Maternal anxiety; Psychometrics; Anxiety; Factor Analysis, Statistical; Female; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Mothers; Parturition; Postpartum Period; Pregnancy; Psychiatry; 1701 Psychology; 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2022 11:05
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2022 11:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s00737-022-01233-9
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17059
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