University of Twente Student Theses


Personal, Social, and Behavioural Factors Influencing Women’s Well-being During the Pre- and Postnatal Period

Bernhardt, Elisabeth (2023) Personal, Social, and Behavioural Factors Influencing Women’s Well-being During the Pre- and Postnatal Period.

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Abstract:The present literature review contributes to a wider understanding of mental well-being in women who undergo demanding transitional phases, mainly described in negative terms in the literature: the pregnancy and the postnatal period. The aim was to gather information about factors that provoke high levels of mental well-being in new and expecting mothers. For this purpose, a total of 15 articles were reviewed, and the results showed that factors could be categorized into personal, social, and behavioural factors. Predominantly, social and personal factors were related to higher levels of mental well-being during the pregnancy and postnatal phase. Most prevalent, social support and psychological strengths/coping mechanisms enhanced the probability of flourishing. The surprisingly high well-being rates of the included samples can be seen as a first step towards the equilibration of the biased negative view towards childbirth. Further research is needed to prove that pregnancy and the postnatal period can be seen as beautiful life phases. More precisely, it is essential to agree on a standardised measurement for overall well-being and to consider factors of emotional well-being as independent variables. Also, the conduction of longitudinal experiments on social (e.g., social support) and psychological factors (e.g., self-esteem) is suggested to offer insight into the causation between those factors and women’s well-being. A future direction would then be the implementation of interventions in order to offer (social) support that women may need during transitional phases, and thus, sustain and heighten their mental well-being.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Keywords:Positive psychology, Pregnancy, Postnatal period, Mental well-being, Flourishing
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