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Post-traumatic growth in women after childbirth

Sawyer, A. & Ayers, S. (2009). Post-traumatic growth in women after childbirth. Psychology and Health, 24(4), pp. 457-471. doi: 10.1080/08870440701864520


Childbirth is a complex event that leads to a variety of psychological outcomes. This cross-sectional study examined post-traumatic growth in women following childbirth (N = 219) using an online questionnaire, and explored associations between growth, support and control during birth, coping after birth and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At least moderate degrees of growth were reported by 50.2% of women and average levels of growth were similar to those reported following accidents and assaults. Growth was positively related to approach coping and the avoidant strategy of seeking alternative rewards, but was unrelated to support and control during birth, other avoidant coping strategies after birth, and PTSD symptoms. It is concluded that growth does occur following childbirth. Further research is needed to clarify factors associated with growth in women following childbirth and to determine if growth is associated with psychological benefits in this population.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: childbirth, resilience/post-traumatic growth, coping
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
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