Examination of a multi-factorial model of body-related experiences during pregnancy: The relationships among physical symptoms, sleep quality, depression, self-esteem, and negative body attitudes
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate relationships among women's body attitudes, physical symptoms, self-esteem, depression, and sleep quality during pregnancy. Pregnant women (N=215) at 15-25 weeks gestation completed a questionnaire including four body image subscales assessing self-reported feeling fat, attractiveness, strength/fitness, and salience of weight and shape. Women reported on 29 pregnancy-related physical complaints, and completed the Beck Depression Inventory, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. In regressions, controlling for retrospective reports of body image, more frequent and intense physical symptoms were related to viewing the self as less strong/fit, and to poorer sleep quality and more depressive symptoms. In a multi-factorial model extending previous research, paths were found from sleep quality to depressive symptoms to self-esteem; self-esteem was found to be a mediator associated with lower scores on feeling fat and salience of weight and shape, and on higher perceived attractiveness.