Guided Imagery and Stress in Pregnant Adolescents

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We examined the effects of a guided imagery intervention on perceived stress in pregnant adolescents.

METHOD. Thirty-five pregnant adolescents recruited from a local alternative education program participated in a guided imagery intervention. Participants listened to a pregnancy-specific guided imagery recording on four separate occasions during their pregnancies. Perceived stress was measured immediately before and after each session using the Perceived Stress Measure–9 (PSM–9).

RESULTS. Participants’ pre- and postsession PSM–9 scores for three of the four sessions demonstrated a significant reduction in stress. Participants’ baseline stress levels also decreased significantly across the four listening sessions. The greatest reductions in stress within and between sessions occurred in the early sessions, with effects diminishing over time.

CONCLUSION. Pregnant teens experienced initial short- and long-term stress reduction during a guided imagery intervention, supporting the use of guided imagery to reduce stress in pregnant adolescents.

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