Faith Akinmade

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Published research often describes risk factors for birth trauma among adult populations yet risks for trauma and stress disorders have been found to be higher in adolescents. The aim of this study was to explore birth expectations among a diverse group of low-income adolescents and determine if unmet birth expectations correlated with psychological birth trauma, and to see if younger age (13-16) adolescents held different expectations of birth than older age adolescents (17-19). The Impact of Event Scale (IES) was used to measure psychological birth trauma, and written narratives reflected adolescents’ expectations. Results indicated that birth expectations were not found to be significantly associated with psychological birth trauma; however, younger adolescents held different expectations than older teens. Interestingly, expectations were not necessarily congruent with the adolescent’s perception of birth overall as positive or negative; yet the promotion of a positive birth experience by healthcare providers is important, especially for the younger childbearing adolescent.

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