AuthorGoddard, Barbara Ellen.
Committee ChairFerketich, Sandra
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research was undertaken to measure the level of comfort pregnant women felt regarding the changing communication they experienced and how that response related to facets of self-concept over the last six months of pregnancy. Major focus was placed on the relationships between variables used to measure social interaction and self-concept. A descriptive, correlational research design with longitudinal data collection was chosen to measure the concepts. Social interaction was measured with the Prenatal Communication Comfort, Close Scale, the Prenatal Communication Comfort, Far Scale and the Interpersonal Support Subscale. Aspects of self-concept were measured with the Present Body Image Scale, the Self-esteem Scale, the Modified Self-reliance Scale and the Mastery Scale. All scales demonstrated acceptable levels of reliability and validity. Purposive sampling was used to obtain the initial sample of 87 pregnant women (averaging 14.7 weeks gestation at time one) from across South Dakota. Over the next six months 67 of the women completed all three data collection periods. The women averaged 26 weeks gestation at time two and 37 weeks gestation at time three. Relationships among the major variables and the demographic variables were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson Correlation, analysis of variance and covariance, and t-tests. Analyses of variance suggested no significant change over time in self-esteem, self-reliance, mastery, body image or interpersonal support. Using exploratory data analysis, four subgroups demonstrated significant variance in comfort with prenatal communication with those inside and outside their immediate social circles. The four subgroups evidenced significant differences in their level of self-esteem, self-reliance and body image. This research clarifies the actuality that women who value themselves experience discomfort with the alterations they perceive in social exchanges during their pregnancies. Women with a lower sense of self-worth become more comfortable with prenatal communication changes, but the increasing comfort does not necessarily result in a better sense of self-worth. The results of this research further underline the importance of identifying women with a diminished self-concept. Nurses may be catalysts in helping pregnant women recognize that negative attention is not necessarily better than no attention.