Maternal appraisals of risk, coping and prenatal attachment among women hospitalised with pregnancy complications

O. White, Noleen McCorry, G. Scott_Heyes, Martin Dempster, J. Manderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


One goal of pregnancy is the development of maternal emotional attachment to
the unborn baby, and this attachment has been shown to be related to later
relationships and development. There are many factors which may hinder the
development of prenatal attachment, including the presence of complications,
hospitalisation, and anxiety. However, women’s appraisals of risk may not be
congruent with medical assessments of risk. The current study sought to model
the relationships between risk (maternal perceptions and medical ratings), coping, psychological well-being, and maternal–foetal attachment among 87 women hospitalised for pregnancy-related complications. Analysis indicated that positive appraisal as a coping strategy mediates the relationship between maternal appraisals of risk and maternal–foetal attachment, and that medical ratings of risk were not predictive of maternal–foetal attachment. Awareness of the potential incongruence between patients’ and health professionals’ perceptions of risk is important within the clinical environment. The potential benefits of promoting positive appraisal in high-risk pregnancy merit further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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