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Keywords

optimism, perceived health status, positive health practices, pregnant women, social support

 

Authors

  1. Cannella, Barbara L.

Abstract

Background: Literature suggests that there is a need to study a broadly conceived variable of positive health practices in pregnant women and to examine theoretically related variables that help to explain positive health practices in pregnant women.

 

Objectives: The aims of this study were to examine the association between social support and positive health practices in pregnant women and to further test this relationship by examining two mediational variables: perceived health status and optimism.

 

Method: A convenience sample of 152 pregnant women attending childbirth education classes completed the four study instruments and a demographic data sheet.

 

Results: Social support was related positively to positive health practices; this relationship was basic to both mediational models. In the first mediational model, social support was related positively to perceived health status, and perceived health status was related positively to positive health practices, but perceived health status was not a complete mediator of the social support-positive health practices relationship, as determined by regression analyses. In the second mediational model, social support was related positively to optimism, and optimism was related positively to positive health practices, but optimism was not a complete mediator of the social support-positive health practices relationship, as determined by regression analyses.

 

Discussion: Positive health practices in pregnant women are related positively to social support, perceived health status, and optimism. In terms of theory building, neither perceived health status nor optimism help to explain the social support-positive health practices relationship. Replication of this study with a more diverse sample is one recommendation for future study.