The associations between antenatal representations (AN) and psychological health in pregnancy: Poster 13

Sophie Bagge, Judi Walsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Objective: To explore the associations between Antenatal Representations (AR) (alternatively referred to in the literature as ‘maternal-foetal attachment’ (Cranley, 1981; Condon, 1993)), and depression, anxiety, and stress. AR was measured using the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (MAAS, Condon, 1993) to examine both levels and ‘styles’ of AR. Background: AR refers to the mother’s emotional bond/tie and psychological representations of her unborn baby. AR may be compromised by depression (Misri & Kendrick, 2008) and anxiety (Condon & Corkindale,1997); however stress is yet to be examined. Although most studies show relatively robust results, there are contradicting studies indicating a need for further research. Current research utilises global scores of AR (Muller, 1993), and considers subscales independently (Condon & Corkindale, 1997). Although the concept of recombining the sub-scales to create four categories/’styles’ of AR has been suggested (Condon, 1993), only one study has implemented the method using an at-risk population (Pollock & Percy, 1999). Method: A cross-sectional design was implemented using a paper or on-line self-report questionnaire pack. This pack included the MAAS and the DASS, Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995) as well as other measures, which were part of a larger study. 72 women in their second or third trimester of pregnancy were recruited on-line or at baby/toddler groups. Results: Higher levels of anxiety and stress were associated with the Quality sub-scale of the MAAS, but not the Intensity sub-scale. Results for depression showed a trend in the same direction, but were not significant. Only anxiety was significantly associated with the Global AR score. There were no significant differences between ‘styles’ of AR on psychological health variables. Conclusion: AR should be determined by independently examining the sub-scales of the MAAS, and Quality seems more influential in the associations with psychological health than Intensity. Using ‘styles’ of AR in a normative population does not seem to offer more information than scales, however previous research suggests that it may become influential in a clinical, at-risk population (Pollock & Percy, 1999), and these claims require further validation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event34th Annual Conference of the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology - Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valetta, Malta, Spain
Duration: 16 Sep 201417 Sep 2014


Conference34th Annual Conference of the Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology
CityValetta, Malta

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