Kazan Federal University,
Fear of childbirth (FOC) is an important psychological problem that is studied worldwide because it affects the well-being of pregnant women. However, in Russia, this problem does not receive adequate attention among researchers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the conditionality of fear of childbirth (FOC) in pregnant women by external and internal factors, which we assumed were the reasons for this fear. As external factors, we considered socio-demographic indicators (e.g., age, marital status, level of education, housing, and the attitude of relatives towards pregnancy) as well as indicators of gynecological history (e.g., the term of pregnancy, the outcome of previous pregnancies, and pregnancy complications). As internal (psychological) factors of the fear of childbirth, we considered personal anxiety as well as general inclination towards and negative consequences of different fears (20 types of fears and phobias were examined). The study was conducted with a Russian sample of 76 women at different stages of pregnancy and with different socio-demographic indicators and gynecological histories. The analysis of the results showed the absence of significant differences between women who were pregnant with FOC and those without this fear in terms of the external factors considered in this study. According to the study’s data, a general inclination of women to fear is associated with fear of childbirth. However, the findings for the women with FOC did not indicate significant positive correlations between the level of this fear and exposure to any of the 20 types of fear and phobias measured in the study. Furthermore, the results did not detect relationships between the FOC level and women’s personal anxiety. The results allow us to conclude that FOC is a separate phenomenon that is not dependent on other phobias and fears. Fear of childbirth has a subjective and highly individual genesis. It is not a direct consequence of objective factors, and it cannot be predicted based on women’s personal characteristics (in particular, anxiety). For further study of this problem, we suggest that researchers identify different types of FOC and describe their content as a way to help develop practical methods of providing psychological assistance for women during pregnancy.
Keywords: fear of childbirth, FOC, pregnancy; personal anxiety, fears, phobias
Television has a strong impact on gender-identity development. Theoretical analysis shows that the direct perception of different gender characteristics in advertising images has a specific impact on gender self-consciousness, primarily at the unconscious level. The purpose of our study was to uncover features of this impact.
In this study, the effects of advertising images on the gender self-consciousness of teenagers were investigated. Two hypotheses were examined: (1) Perception of gender images in TV commercials has individual variability and is connected with gender features of self-consciousness (gender type of personality, gender differentiation of consciousness, the specifics of gender identification). (2) Direct perception of gender images in TV commercials has a differential influence on the transformation of verbal (cognitive) and nonverbal (emotive) levels of selfconsciousness.
The commercials, which were for chocolate, contained different gender types of male and female images (masculine female images, androgynous images, and feminine male images); they used as stimulus materials in an experimental situation involving 61 teenagers. The contents and dynamics of gender self-consciousness in adolescents were investigated using the psychosemantic method of “multiple identifications.”
We discovered that the girls’ preferences for gender images were more varied than those of the boys. Despite different variants in the gender characteristics in the advertising images, their impact on the gender self-consciousness of the adolescents consisted mostly of gender differentiation and identification with the images of their own gender. In general, in regard to the direct impact in the experimental situation, at the cognitive level, the girls revealed changes in the enhancement of gender identification with images of their gender, and the boys were characterized by the enhancement of gender differentiation. At the level of emotive evaluation, in contrast to the cognitive level, we observed stronger dynamics of the changes in selfconsciousness (enhancement of gender differentiation and enhancement of identification with images of ideals and parental images).
The results clearly showed the quite high plasticity of self-consciousness structures and their susceptibility to externally designated images. We concluded that, in their direct perception, features of gender images in TV commercials have specific effects on the consciousness of adolescents: they reinforce already-formed gender categories and self-identification. We consider this research a pilot study, and we are planning to check the results on a more representative sample with different age groups.
Keywords: commercials, gender images, identification, gender self-consciousness, adolescent