Beneficial associations between optimistic disposition and emotional distress in high-risk pregnancy

Marci Lobel, Ann Marie Yali, Wei Zhu, Carla D E Vincent, Bruce Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to examine whether optimistic women experience less distress in high-risk pregnancy than non-optimistic women, and if so, whether this difference is explained by differences in coping or perceptions of control over pregnancy. As predicted, optimistic women (N = 167) were more likely to evaluate their high-risk pregnancy as controllable, which was associated with lower distress. They were also less likely to use avoidant coping, an emotionally deleterious form of coping. Furthermore, optimism had an independent association with emotional distress that was stronger than the associations mediated by perceived control and coping. Results suggest that there are emotional benefits of optimism in high-risk pregnancy which are only partly explained by the way optimists perceive and cope with this stressful life event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-95
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2002


  • Coping
  • Emotional distress
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • Optimism
  • Perceived control
  • Stress appraisal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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