Anxiety Levels Of Younger And Older Women In Their First Term Pregnancies

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




The purpose of this study was to determine if there were differences in anxiety levels in the first pregnancies of women in the following age groups: (a) 19 to 24, (b) 25 to 29, and (c) 30 and older.Two hundred eighty-six middle-class women expecting their first children completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielburger, et al., 1970) during their third trimester of pregnancy. This was done at their Lamaze childbirth classes prior to any class instruction. In addition, they filled out a Pregnancy Questionnaire that yielded information pertaining to their age, level of education, medical history and work-history.A one-way analysis of covariance was used to test the differences in the means of state anxiety levels among the groups. No significant differences were found. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients were computed for state anxiety with number of abortions, number of miscarriages, years of education, and years worked. Multiple regression was computed for medical and/or financial difficulties with state anxiety as a dependent variables. This was significant only for Group 1 (19 to 24 years). A significant correlation emerged in Group 1 for state anxiety and number of abortions and in Group 3 (30 years and older) for state anxiety and number of miscarriages. There was a significant correlation between years of education and state anxiety in each of the three groups, such that women with higher levels of education had less anxiety.A multiple regression analysis was conducted on other demographic data. Four variables made significant contributions to state anxiety. These were trait anxiety, level of wife's education, being of Hispanic origin, and being non-Latin white in the youngest age group.A control group of 94 nonpregnant females was used to determine if anxiety changed as a function of age. An analysis of variance revealed no significant differences in trait anxiety as a function of age.


Education, Educational Psychology

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