The relationships among personal strivings, perceived spousal support and nonsupport, life stress, and adjustment in pregnant women and their spouses

Suellen S Walsh-Rother, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined perceptions of spousal support and nonsupport in the context of pregnancy specific personal strivings, life stress, and psychological adjustment in a sample of 51 primiparous women and their husbands. The author hypothesized that individuals who perceived their spouses as supportive of their strivings would report increased well-being and striving-related happiness, commitment, importance and clarity, whereas individuals whose viewed their spouses as nonsupportive were expected to report increased distress and striving-related unhappiness and ambivalence. Spousal support and nonsupport were related to the expected outcomes, but, for the most part, striving dimensions were not, perhaps due in part to the abstract nature of pregnancy-specific strivings. A moderating effect of perceived spousal support on the relationship between the life stress and well-being was hypothesized, but not found. Life stress was found to have a mediating effect on the relationship between spousal nonsupport and both well-being and distress for both pregnant women and spouses. Spousal support mediated striving-related happiness' contribution to well-being for expectant fathers. Psychological well-being was predicted from spousal support and life stress, while life stress alone predicted distress. Results suggest that adequate spousal support is important to the psychological functioning of both pregnant women and their husbands, a finding that particularly highlights the importance of assessing support experiences of expectant fathers during a time when the focus is primarily on their wives. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Psychology, Developmental|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Suellen S Walsh-Rother, "The relationships among personal strivings, perceived spousal support and nonsupport, life stress, and adjustment in pregnant women and their spouses" (January 1, 2003). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3083163.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3083163

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