Document Type



Medicine and Health Sciences


Pregnancy is a critical time to identify and address maternal mental health problems, for the health of both mother and child. Pregnant women with histories of exposure to interpersonal psychological trauma may experience a range of mental health problems including but not limited to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a community sample of 1,581 pregnant women, 25% reported symptoms consistent with at least one of six syndromes, including PTSD, major depressive disorder (MDD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), or clinically significant dissociation, somatization, or affect dysregulation. Six sub-groups with distinct mental health problem profiles were identified by cluster analysis. Controlling for sociodemographic risk factors, women with histories of interpersonal trauma were over-represented in four sub-groups characterized by: (1) PTSD comorbid with depression (childhood sexual abuse), (2) PTSD comorbid with affect/interpersonal dysregulation (childhood physical or emotional abuse), (3) somatization (adult abuse), and (4) GAD (foster/adoptive placement). Findings suggest risk relationships warranting further study between different types of interpersonal trauma exposure and psychiatric outcomes in pregnant women, including PTSD with two types of comorbidity.


Psychol Trauma. Author manuscript; available in PMC Jan 1, 2015. Published in final edited form as: Psychol Trauma. Jan 2014; 6(1): 41–49. doi: 10.1037/a0031467 PMCID: PMC4280853 NIHMSID: NIHMS636056