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Psychosocial and medical factors in pregnancy outcomes: A case study of Israeli women


  • Hagoel, Lea
  • Van-Raalte, Riki
  • Kalekin-Fishman, Devorah
  • Shifroni, Galia
  • Epstein, Leon
  • Sorokin, Yoram


Building on a body of research which confirms that psychosocial factors have an important influence on health in general and on pregnancy outcomes in particular, we carried out a prospective study of pregnant women in Israel. We hypothesized that medical pregnancy and delivery outcomes are mediated by psychosocial coping resources and risks. Resources were defined as social ties, and risks as life events self-reported as stressful. The population studied included 233 women who responded to questionnaires after the second trimester of pregnancy. Medical data on the delivery were collected from hospital archives. The questionnaire measured biomedical risks, including general medical and obstetrical history, as well as health behaviours, social ties, and perceived stress. Pregnancy outcomes were classified according to medical measures of abnormalities in mother and child at birth. Our findings show that resources such as the variety of social ties (family, friends, neighbours and colleagues) interacted significantly with biomedical risk. It was found that low scores for social ties anticipated 3.6 times higher negative medical outcome in otherwise healthy women than in those with higher scores for social ties. The findings of the study are discussed in terms of their implications for relating to social competence as a determining element in health and health behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Hagoel, Lea & Van-Raalte, Riki & Kalekin-Fishman, Devorah & Shifroni, Galia & Epstein, Leon & Sorokin, Yoram, 1995. "Psychosocial and medical factors in pregnancy outcomes: A case study of Israeli women," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 567-571, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:4:p:567-571

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