Date of Award

5-14-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

White, Andrea S.

Abstract

This study developed and piloted a scale to measure acceptance of medicalized childbirth, the Medicalized Childbirth Acceptance Scale (MCAS). Study 1 consisted of focus groups conducted to pre-test the MCAS and to identify the range of young women's attitudes toward childbirth. Study 2, conducted with a sample of 139 college-aged women, tested the MCAS' psychometric properties and assessed psychological correlates of acceptance of medicalized childbirth. Fear of childbirth correlated positively with acceptance of medicalized childbirth, whereas embodiment (i.e., one's connectedness to and confidence in one's body) correlated negatively with acceptance of medicalized childbirth. Acceptance of medicalized childbirth correlated negatively with having an information-oriented identity style but was not related to having a normative identity style. Method of own birth and past exposure to childbirth messages were also related to childbirth attitudes. Convergent validity, internal consistency, and test-retest reliability analyses indicated that the MCAS is a reliable and valid tool to assess where young women's attitudes lie on the spectrum of childbirth approaches.

Comments

Includes bibliographical references: pages 40-45

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