Personality, preterm labor contractions, and psychological consequences

Jonathan E. Handelzalts*, Haim Krissi, Sigal Levy, Yael Freund, Naama Carmiel, Eran Ashwal, Yoav Peled

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Research of psychological factors associated with imminent preterm labor (PTL) is sparse, compared with considerable research of preterm birth. We explored state and trait psychological variables associated with PTL, both pre- and postpartum. Methods: During 2012–2014, 56 women hospitalized due to PTL, and 33 pregnant women without PTL, responded during gestational week 20–33, to a demographic questionnaire, the Big-Five Inventory (BFI), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), the Fear of Childbirth Questionnaire, and the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Inventory (MFAS). At 4–6 weeks postpartum, 35 and 23 of the women in the respective groups responded online to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Mother to Infant Bonding Scale (MIBS). Results: Compared to women without PTL, women with PTL scored higher on neuroticism, openness to experience, and MFAS (p < 0.01 each), scored lower on consciousness and agreeableness (p < 0.01 each), and showed greater fear of childbirth (p < 0.05). Significant differences were not found in the postpartum variables of EPDS and MIBS. In the PTL group, MFAS (β = 0.36, p < 0.01), but not fear of childbirth (β = 0.08, p = NS), remained higher, after controlling for demographic variables and neuroticism. Conclusions: PTL was associated with personality variables, but not with psychological consequences, other than elevated prepartum attachment to the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Personality
  • Postpartum depression
  • Preterm contractions
  • Preterm labor


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