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Publication Date: 
March, 2005
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This study examines relationships between perceptions of control, postpartum depression, and physiological symptoms in women who gave birth vaginally or by cesarean. Extrapolating from a cognitive framework, it was hypothesized that women who gave birth by cesarean would exhibit lower levels of perceived control and higher levels of depression and physiological symptoms as compared with women who gave birth vaginally. Results were supportive of the hypotheses, suggesting that it may be helpful to explore ways of assisting women to experience greater control over their childbirth. Future research should assess the desire for and the value placed on perceptions of control in childbirth.

KEY WORDS: Childbirth, control, caesarean, postpartum depression.


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Jennifer Gray, MA, is a Ph.D. Graduate Student, Claremont Graduate University.

Correspondence through: Psychology Department, Westmont College, 955 La Paz Road, Santa Barbara, California 93108jennifer.gray@cgu.edu