Pregnancy-related anxiety, perceived parental self-efficacy and the influence of parity and age

Robyn Brunton, Nicole Simpson, Rachel Dryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Pregnancy-related anxiety is contextualised by pregnancy and is a health concern for the mother and child. Perceived parental self-efficacy is associated with this anxiety and age and parity are identified as influential factors. This research, therefore, predicted that negative perceptions of parental self-efficacy would predict greater pregnancy-related anxiety, moderated by parity and age. Participants (N = 771) were recruited online and assessed for perceived parental self-efficacy, pregnancy-related anxiety, and demographics. Moderation models showed that the psychosocial and sociodemographic factors combined predicted up to 49% of the variance. Parental self-efficacy predicted anxiety in the areas of body image, worry about themselves, baby concerns, pregnancy acceptance, attitudes towards medical staff and childbirth, and avoidance. Parity predicted pregnancy-related anxiety both overall and in childbirth concerns, worry about self, baby concerns and attitudes towards childbirth. Age predicted baby concerns. There was a significant moderation effect for pregnancy acceptance indicating that primiparous women with low perceptions of parental self-efficacy are less accepting of their pregnancy. Results suggest that parity and parental self-efficacy may be risk factors for first-time mothers for pregnancy-related anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6709
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2020


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