Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Impact of health behaviors on prenatal maternal stress
by Miller, Karissa G., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2014, 103; 1526933
Abstract (Summary)

Previous studies find prenatal stress to relate to negative health in mothers and their children. Health behaviors such as exercise, proper nutrition, and relaxation have been found to reduce stress in non-pregnant populations, yet few studies have investigated the effect of these behaviors on prenatal stress. The current study examined the impact of exercise, nutrition, and relaxation on perceived stress, anxiety, and cortisol reactivity to a stress task in pregnant women. We hypothesized that women who exercised, had better eating habits, and engaged in relaxation would have reduced perceived stress, anxiety and more adaptive cortisol responses. Our results suggest an adaptive effect of exercise, and maladaptive effect of fat consumption on prenatal cortisol responses, but no association between health behaviors and perceived stress or anxiety. These findings contribute to our understanding of the relationship between health behaviors and stress during pregnancy, and may be useful for prenatal health interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Urizar, Guido G.
Commitee: Amirkhan, James H., Yim, Ilona S.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 53/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Medicine, Behavioral psychology, Endocrinology, Physiological psychology
Keywords: Cortisol response, Exercise, nutrition, and relaxation, Pregnancy and stress, Prenatal health behaviors
Publication Number: 1526933
ISBN: 9781321277333
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