The Pregnancy-related Anxiety Project
An Australian research project aimed at bringing greater understanding to this anxiety type. 

Our Research.
Below we present summaries of our research thus far. We currently have four studies in progress examining antecedents and predictors of pregnancy-related anxiety,  assessing the validity of a short-form scale and comparing the PrAS to existing measures of pregnancy-related anxiety (see below). 
​​Brunton, R. J., Dryer, R., Saliba, A., & Kohlhoff, J. (2015). Pregnancy Anxiety: A systematic review of current scales. Journal of Affective Disorders, 176, 24-34. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.01.039
​​

​In 2015 we conducted a systematic review of current instruments used to assess pregnancy-related anxiety. Sixty studies published between 1983 and 2013 in peer-reviewed journals, were identified and after applying inclusion/exclusion criteria, were classified as pregnancy-related, anxiety specific, scales for other constructs, subscales of other instruments and general anxiety scales. Each scale's strengths and limitations were discussed. concluding that currently, no scales are available for pregnancy-related anxiety with sound theoretical and psychometric properties. Clinically the need for such a scale is highlighted by the potential intervention opportunities this may afford. Future research should be directed towards the development of such a scale.  
​​Brunton, R. J., Dryer, R., Saliba, A., & Kohlhoff, J. (2019). The initial development of the Pregnancy-related anxiety Scale. Women & Birth, 32(1). doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2018.05.004

This study reports on the initial development of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale. The item pool was developed following a literature review and an Expert Review Panel reviewed the definition, item pool, and test specifications. Pregnant women were recruited online (N = 671). Using a subsample (N = 262, M = 27.94, SD = 4.99), fourteen factors were extracted accounting for 63.18% of the variance. Further refinement resulted in 11 distinct factors. Confirmatory Factor Analysis using a  second subsample (N = 369, M = 26.59, SD = 4.76), confirmed the model as a good fit with nine factors (childbirth, appearance, attitudes towards childbirth, motherhood, acceptance, anxiety, medical, avoidance, and baby concerns). Internal consistency reliability was good with the majority of subscales exceeding α = .80.  
 Brunton, R. J., Gosper, K., & Dryer, R. (2019). Psychometric Evaluation of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale: Acceptance of Pregnancy, Avoidance, and Worry About Self Subscales
Journal of Affective Disorders, under review

This study further examined the validity of the subscales: Acceptance of Pregnancy, Avoidance and Worry About Self. Pregnant women were recruited online and completed the PrAS and convergent (pregnancy acceptance) and divergent (depression) measures. Results: Structural Equation Modelling confirmed the factor structure of the PrAS and multiple regression analysis demonstrated that state anxiety and depression contribute little to the PrAS’s variance, supporting the unique status of pregnancy-related anxiety. Analyses of the three PrAS subscales, mostly, saw the relative convergent measures correlate more highly with the PrAS subscale than the divergent measures, in most cases. This study adds to the psychometric properties of the PrAS. Further, it provides evidence of the distinctiveness of pregnancy-related anxiety from state/trait anxiety and depression.   

SURVEY
Brunton, R. J., Dryer, R., Saliba, A., & Kohlhoff, J. (2018). Re-examining Pregnancy-related Anxiety: a replication study. Women & Birth, 32(1). doi:10.1016/j.wombi.2018.04.013

This study replicated the study by Huizink et al. (2004), that demonstrated that anxiety and depression contribute little to the variance of pregnancy-related anxiety. Further, addressing the limitations of the original study provided further clarity to the findings. Participants (N = 1209), completed three scales: pregnancy-related anxiety, general anxiety, and depression. Multiple regression assessed the unique contribution of general anxiety and depression (predictors) to pregnancy-related anxiety scores (criterion) for each trimester with general anxiety and depression explaining only 2–23% of the variance in the pregnancy-related anxiety scores. Anxiety and depression showed small unique contributions for some trimesters and specific areas of concern, ranging from 2 to 11%. Findings were comparable to the Huizink study. Findings that the contribution of general anxiety and depression to the variance in pregnancy-related anxiety scores was low, supports previous conclusions that pregnancy-related anxiety is a discrete anxiety type. 
Anderson, C. M., Brunton, R. J., & Dryer, R. (2019). Pregnancy‐related anxiety: Re‐examining its distinctiveness. Australian Psychologist, 54(2), 132-142. doi:10.1111/ap.12365

This was a partial replication of the seminal study which demonstrated pregnancy-related anxiety (PrA) and state/trait anxiety and depression share little variance. In addition, the Perinatal Anxiety Screening Scale (PASS) was examined together with the contributing role of neuroticism. Pregnant women (n = 202, Mage = 25.0, SD = 4.9), completed the Pregnancy-Related Anxiety Questionnaire-Revised (PRAQ-R2), PASS, and measures of anxiety, depression and neuroticism (later excluded due to multicollinearity). Multiple regression confirmed that the PRAQ-R2 shared little variance with anxiety and depression whereas the PASS shared large amounts of variance with anxiety. The findings in relation to the PRAQ-R2 support the proposition that PrA is a distinct anxiety type. The findings in relation to the PASS suggest it is better suited for screening anxiety disorder symptomology and less for PrA.

Brunton, R. J., Dryer, R., Krageloh, C., Saliba, A., Kohlhoff, J., & Medvedev, O. (2018). The Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale: a validity examination using Rasch analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders, 236C, 127-135. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.04.116

This study evaluated the PrAS using Rasch analysis to explore how the scale's psychometric properties could be fine-tuned. 497 pregnant women completed the PrAS. Data were subjected to Rasch analysis, and the resulting scale structure examined using Confirmatory Factor Analysis. After minor modifications, the Rasch model with 33-items and 8-factors demonstrated good fit, unidimensionality and excellent targeting and internal consistency. Confirmatory Factor Analysis confirmed the final structure, with excellent reliability. Ordinal to interval score conversions provide added precision to the analysis of the PrAS scores. ​​
The following projects are currently in progress in 2019.

Brunton & Dryer
Translating the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale to clinical use. This is a multi-stage project which will examine the effectiveness of the PrAs in comparison to current clinical practice, 

He, Dryer & Brunton 

This study will examine a short-form version of the pregnancy-related anxiety scale.

Simpson, Brunton & Dryer 
Project title: Do maternal attitudes, prenatal attachment, or parental expectations predict pregnancy-related anxiety?

Lee, Brunton & Dryer 
Project title: Examining the predictive validity of the Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale in comparison to the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale

Woods, Brunton & Dryer 
Project title: Childhood trauma and pregnancy-related anxiety. Is this relationship mediated by resilience and social support?