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ERIC Number: ED135503
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Sep-4
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Observational Data on the Psychological Experience of Childbirth.
Standley, Kay
This paper explores the effects of the childbirth environment and demographic variables on the laboring woman's expressions of tension and pain. Four observable physical measures were combined into a behavioral index of pain and tension: irregular breathing, tension of the upper extremities (rigid muscle flexion), vocalizations of pain (a cry, scream, or moan), and agitated body movement. A mean pain-tension index was computed for the time units in which each woman had a uterine contraction and for periods of rest between contractions. These measures were correlated with the woman's age, race, childbirth training, and a list of observable labor room events (medical procedures and social interactions). Subjects were recruited upon entering a large hospital to deliver. Thirteen hours of data were collected. Results showed that age is inversely correlated with the pain index, older women expressing less pain than younger women, and white women expressing less pain than black women. Parental education and income levels were related to attitudes, expectations and anxieties of prospective parents during pregnancy. Training for childbirth through preparation classes was not significantly related to observable pain during labor, although it was found that women who were trained rarely showed great pain. Factors which might indicate physical difficulty of labor were considered in relation to the pain-tension index. Labor room events which significantly correlated with the pain-tension index were various verbal and behavioral interactions between father and mother. (SB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (84th, Washington, D. C., September 4, 1976)