Pregnancy decision making: Predictors of Early Stress and Adjustment

Catherine L. Cohan, Christine Dunkel-Schetter, John Lydon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Pregnancy decision making was examined among pregnant and nonpregnant women seeking pregnancy testing. The majority of women had decided upon and were certain of a decision to either abort or carry a possible pregnancy before learning the pregnancy-test results. Adjustment to pregnancy decision making was examined longitudinally among the women who tested positive for pregnancy. Pregnant participants were interviewed about their decisions to carry or abort their pregnancies at three times—immediately prior to pregnancy testing, a day after receiving positive test results, and 4 weeks later. Nearly all maintained their original decision over the course of the study. Adjustment was related primarily to which outcome was chosen and, to a lesser degree, to whether a woman was initially decided or not upon the outcome. The time surrounding pregnancy testing was stressful for women who decided to abort their pregnancies. However, negative feelings at the time of pregnancy testing among those who later aborted their pregnancies subsided by the end of the study and did not differ from those who carried their pregnancies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-239
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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