Psychometric evaluation of the pregnancy-related anxiety scale: Acceptance of pregnancy, avoidance, and worry about self subscales

Robyn Brunton, Katrina Gosper, Rachel Dryer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Increasingly pregnancy-related anxiety is acknowledged as a distinct anxiety type, characterised by specific fears/worries. The Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale (PrAS) screens for this distinct anxiety and refinements to the scale have prompted further validity examination. This study aims to: replicate findings that distinguished pregnancy-related anxiety from general anxiety/depression using the PrAS; confirm the PrAS's factor structure, and examine the validity of the PrAS subscales: Acceptance of Pregnancy, Avoidance and Worry About Self. Methods: Pregnant women (N = 608) were recruited online and completed the PrAS, Pregnancy Acceptance Questionnaire, Ways of Coping Questionnaire, Cambridge Worry Scale, Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Edinburgh Depression Scale. Results: Multiple regression analysis confirmed general anxiety/depression contributed little to the PrAS's variance, supporting the scale's validity and distinctiveness of pregnancy-related anxiety. Structural equation modelling confirmed the PrAS's factor structure, and the three PrAS subscales generally correlated more highly with convergent measures than the discriminant measures. Limitations: Limitations included the cross-sectional design of the study and the use of some convergent/discriminant measures that lacked validity evidence for prenatal use. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of the distinctiveness of pregnancy-related anxiety from state/trait anxiety and depression and also adds to the psychometric properties of the PrAS. The PrAS is a useful screening scale that can be used for antenatal screening potentially reducing the risk of adverse outcomes associated with pregnancy-related anxiety. The PrAS is also a useful research tool providing a more comprehensive assessment of pregnancy-related anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume278
Early online date18 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2021

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