Effects of spirituality and psychosocial well-being on health risk behaviors in Appalachian pregnant women

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. Nov-Dec 2004;33(6):739-47. doi: 10.1177/0884217504270669.


Objective: To determine the relationships of spirituality and psychosocial well-being to health risk behaviors in pregnant Appalachian women.

Method: Descriptive study of 120 women between 16 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. The instruments used were the Spiritual Perspective Scale and religiosity items from the Jarel Well-Being Scale. Psychosocial well-being was measured by the Prenatal Psychosocial Profile. Four items measured health risk behaviors.

Results: Higher levels of spirituality (spiritual perspective and religiosity) were significantly correlated with greater satisfaction with social support, higher levels of self-esteem, and decreased levels of smoking. Sociodemographic, psychosocial, and spiritual variables explained 25% of the variance in frequency of smoking, and in the logistic regression analysis, psychosocial stress was the only variable that significantly predicted substance use.

Conclusion: Higher levels of spirituality and lower levels of stress are associated with decreased health risk behaviors among pregnant women from Appalachia. Increasing spiritual resources and decreasing stress during pregnancy offer the potential to improve health promotion efforts in pregnancy with women from Appalachia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Appalachian Region
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology*
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Quality of Life
  • Self Concept
  • Spirituality*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires