UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Anxiety scale for pregnancy: development and validation Doyle-Waters, Mary Madeleine R.


Women encounter physical, emotional, and psychological changes during pregnancy. The literature indicates that some women find these changes to be stressful. They may respond to this stress by feeling anxious. The frequency and intensity of the anxiety reaction depends on how women perceive these stressors and on their ability to cope with the anxiety. The studies that have investigated pregnancy and anxiety have used general measures of state anxiety. A search for a measure of anxiety that pertains to pregnancy produced a number of measures that were specific to one or several dimensions of pregnancy. There are no measures available that look at anxiety and the multidimensional components of pregnancy. Therefore the intent of this research project was to develop and validate such a measure. Spielberger’s theory and measure of state and trait anxiety was examined in detail. The development of The Anxiety Scale For Pregnancy (ASP) was based on his research of state anxiety. An extensive review of the literature on pregnancy led to the construction of the items for this measure. The initial 82 items were pretested by a group of experts in the field of pregnancy and a sample of 40 women. The revised items comprised ten dimensions of pregnancy and 73 items relating to those dimensions. This version of ASP was field tested on a group of 270 pregnant women. Validation of ASP was through confirmatory factor analysis, group differentiation, and concurrent validity. Confirmatory factor analysis of the ten dimensions and 73 items did not produce a good fit of the model. The model was respecified and resulted in a hypothesized model of 14 observed variables and five latent constructs, baby, labour, marital, attractive, and support. The overall goodness-of-fit for this model is excellent. Group differentiation was assesses throught the variables, trimester, gravidity, age, and health during pregnancy. The mean differences between the group variables and the subscales of ASP supported previous research in the domain of pregnancy and anxiety. Concurrent validity was demonstrated through the strong correlations between the scores of ASP and the State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, as well as ASP and the State Self-Esteem Scale which produced, as expected, a strong negative correlation. The results from this study indicate that the ASP is a valid measure of five different dimensions relating to pregnancy and those dimensions are based on an extensive review of the literature.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.