2010

The purpose of this study was to explore associations between forms of social support and levels of psychological distress during pregncy. Methods: A cross-sectiol alysis of 2,743 pregnt women from south-east Queensland, Australia, was conducted utilising data collected between 2007-2011 as part of the Environments for Healthy Living (EFHL) project, Griffith University. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler 6; social support was measured using the following four factors: living with a partner, living with parents or in-laws, self-perceived social network, and area satisfaction. Data were alysed using an ordered logistic regression model controlling for a range of socio-demographic factors. Results: There was an inverse association between self-perceived strength of social networks and levels of psychological distress (OR = 0.77; 95%CI: 0.70, 0.85) and between area satisfaction and levels of psychological distress (OR = 0.77; 95%CI: 0.69, 0.87). There was a direct association between living with parents or in-laws and levels of psychological distress (OR = 1.50; 95%CI: 1.16, 1.96). There was no statistically significant association between living with a partner and the level of psychological distress of the pregnt woman after accounting for household income. Conclusion: Living with parents or in-laws is a strong marker for psychological distress. Strategies aiming to build social support networks for women during pregncy have the potential to provide a significant benefit. Policies promoting stable family relationships and networks through community development could also be effective in promoting the welfare of pregnt women.