Coping styles in pregnancy, their demographic and psychological influences, and their association with postpartum depression: a longitudinal study of women in China

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We aimed to investigate the coping styles of Chinese pregnant women, identify factors associated with coping and further explore the effect of coping during pregnancy on postpartum depression. A longitudinal study was performed from early pregnancy to six-week postpartum. A total of 1126 women were recruited by convenience sampling and participants who completed eight questionnaires at four time points were included (three self-developed questionnaires, Coping Style Questionnaire, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7, Brief Resilience Scale, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) (n = 615). Linear regression analyses were used to identify the possible factors for coping and their association with postpartum depression. The mean scores of positive coping and negative coping were 2.03 and 1.21, respectively. Women with a higher educational level scored higher on both positive and negative coping in pregnancy. Resilience was associated with both positive and negative coping, while self-esteem only related to positive coping (p < 0.05). Postpartum depression was associated with both positive and negative coping (p < 0.05). The women in our study reported using positive coping styles more than negative coping antenatally. Positive and negative coping behaviors could be used simultaneously. Increasing self-esteem and resilience antenatally might promote more positive coping and further reduce the occurrence of postpartum depression.

Bibliographic note

Funding Information: Funding: This research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number 81402690 and 81773446. Publisher Copyright: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Article number3654
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2020


  • coping style, longitudinal study, postpartum depression, pregnancy, Pregnancy, Longitudinal study, Postpartum depression, Coping style, Demography, Humans, Depression, Postpartum Period, Depression, Postpartum, China, Adult, Female, Surveys and Questionnaires, Longitudinal Studies, Adaptation, Psychological