Date of Completion

Spring 5-8-2011

Thesis Advisor(s)

Cheryl Beck

Honors Major



Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nursing | Other Nursing


The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine factors that may place women at risk for developing depressive symptoms during pregnancy. It was part of a larger, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial investigating the impact of docosahexaenoic acid

(DHA) in pregnancy as it relates to postpartum depression. Participants were women with a confirmed pregnancy(N= 45) who were administered the CES-D at two different times, 20-22 weeks gestation and 30-32 weeks gestation. Factors from a self-report of personal history were included in an analysis with the CES-D scores. A significant positive correlation was found between the first CES-D scores and body mass index. The second CES-D resulted in a history of depression being significantly correlated with elevated depressive symptoms. In addition to demonstrating a need for further research, this study indicated that health care professionals need to be more aware of women with these risk factors for elevated depressive symptoms in pregnancy.