The long-term implication of how men cope during a partner's pregnancy, at childbirth or following miscarriage has not received attention. This study aims to examine if men's coping response during pregnancy, at childbirth, or miscarriage predict psychological outcomes at the time of childbirth/miscarriage or 1 year later, and to establish whether there are any changes in men's coping repertoire. Utilizing a longitudinal design, 384 volunteer expectant fathers, participated by completing measures of stress, anxiety, depression and coping during their partner's pregnancy, following childbirth or miscarriage, and 1 year later. Findings indicated, at the time of childbirth/miscarriage, increases on all psychological outcomes compared to during the pregnancy, which then decreased at 1-year. During pregnancy, men relied more on approach-orientated coping, changing at pregnancy outcome to avoidant-orientated strategies. Regression revealed the best predictor of psychological outcome, in the long-term, was coping response at pregnancy outcome. However each psychological outcome had its own predictive path, varying depending on pregnancy outcome; supporting the concept that coping responses are situationally specific, changing depending on the event examined. How men cope with each aspect of their reproductive experiences may have implications for the provision of support they offer their partner, and the support they themselves need.
Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology Vol. 25, Issue 2, p. 87-98