A review and psychometric evaluation of pregnancy-specific stress measures

Fiona Alderdice, Fiona Lynn, M. Lobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Considerable evidence has accumulated on the association between pregnancy-specific stress and adverse birth outcomes with an increasing number of measures of pregnancy-specific stress being developed internationally. However, the introduction of these measures has not always been theoretically or psychometrically grounded, resulting in questions about the quality and direction of such research. This review summarizes evidence on the reliability and validity of pregnancy-specific stress measures identified between 1980 and October 2010. Fifteen pregnancy-specific stress measures were identified. Cronbach’s alpha coefficient ranged from 0.51–0.96 and predictive validity data on preterm birth were reported for five measures. Convergent validity data suggest that pregnancy-specific stress is related to, but distinct from, global stress. Findings from this review consolidate current knowledge on pregnancy-specific stress as a consistent predictor of premature birth. This review also advances awareness of the range of measures of pregnancy-specific stress and documents their strengths and limitations based on published reliability and validity data. Careful consideration needs to be given as to which measures to use in future research to maximize the development of stress theory in pregnancy and appropriate interventions for women who experience stress in pregnancy. An international, strategic collaboration is recommended to advance knowledge in this area of study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-77
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'A review and psychometric evaluation of pregnancy-specific stress measures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this