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Personal growth in UK and Croatian women following childbirth: A preliminary study

Sawyer, A., Nakić Radoš, S., Ayers, S. & Burn, E. (2015). Personal growth in UK and Croatian women following childbirth: A preliminary study. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33(3), pp. 294-307. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2014.981801


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine growth in UK and Croatian women following childbirth and to identify correlates of personal growth after birth, specifically focusing on sociodemographic, obstetric and coping variables. Background: Childbirth is a significant and challenging life event for many women with the potential for both positive and negative psychological changes. Research is increasingly exploring growth in different cultures. No studies have explored growth in Croatian women following childbirth. Methods: UK (N = 193) and Croatian (N = 160) women who had given birth within the last two years completed online questionnaires measuring growth, depression, posttraumatic stress symptoms and coping strategies. Results: Approximately 44% and 35% of UK and Croatian women, respectively, reported a moderate level of growth after childbirth. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that younger women in both countries reported more growth. In the UK sample, coping strategies were related to higher growth. In the Croatian sample, higher posttraumatic stress symptoms and the avoidant coping strategy of denial were associated with higher levels of growth. Conclusion: This study suggests that many women report positive changes as a result of their birth experience. Further research is needed to explore how cultural elements are manifested in the experience of growth.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology on 23 Dec 2014, available online:
Publisher Keywords: childbirth, coping, culture, positive changes, posttraumatic growth
Subjects: R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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