Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Pregnancy-Psychological aspects, Body image in women, Self-esteem in women, Pregnancy-Physiological aspects, First-time pregnancy, Self-esteem, Pregnancy, Body image, Body satisfaction


This study was undertaken in order to determine whether or not first-time mothers-to-be experience differences in body satisfaction and self-esteem, either positively or negatively, depending on the current trimester. The researcher hypothesized that differences would be evident, and that women in their second trimester would present with higher levels of self-esteem and body satisfaction than their first and third trimester counterparts. This relational study uses a cross-sectional design and uses one group, primiparious women, to examine the correlations between body satisfaction, stage of pregnancy and self-esteem. This study is quantitative and uses an online website, Survey Monkey, to administer an anonymously taken questionnaire. The questionnaire includes standardized instruments including the Body Change Inventory (Ricciardelli and McCabe, 2002), the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (McKinley, 1995), and the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (1965) as well as open-ended questions for experiential reflections. Thirty-eight women completed the questionnaire and were fairly homogenous in their characteristics. Most women were white, married to an opposite-sex partner, college-educated, were employed at least part-time, and became pregnant through vaginal intercourse. Major findings included no statistically significant differences in self-esteem or body satisfaction among women in different trimesters. However, differences were found in women's body change efforts during pregnancy as compared to before pregnancy. Furthermore, a positive correlation was found between self-esteem and body satisfaction, and a negative correlation was found between self-esteem and control beliefs. Application of findings to social work is discussed.




iv, 78 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2009. Includes bibliographical references (p. 62-64)