Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

JoAnne K. Henry


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe adolescents' perception of stress during antepartal hospitalization. The research questions answered in this study were: 1. What are the perceived stressors of hospitalized antepartum adolescents? 2. Are there differences in the perceived stressors among early, middle, and late adolescents?

The study was conducted in a teaching hospital in the southeastern United States. A convenience sample of 14 adolescents participated in this study. The ages of the subjects ranged from 14 to 19 years old, with the majority of the subjects 16-19 years old. The subjects were all unmarried and had no other children. Reasons for hospitalization included preterm labor, pregnancy-induced hypertension, and vaginal bleeding. The range of gestational age was 24 to 36 weeks. The length of stay in the hospital at the time of participation in the study was 3 to 11 days.

The substage of each adolescent's development was determined using the Adolescent Developmental Inventory (ADI). This tool was devised by Bernardine Clark, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia. The tool is unpublished and data for reliability and validity are not yet available. The ADI included 16 responses to interview questions designated into early, middle, or late adolescence categories. The subject was identified by substage according to the highest number of responses in that category. In the sample, two subjects were identified as early adolescents, two as middle adolescents, and 10 as late adolescents.

The Antepartum Hospital Stressors Inventory (ASHI) (White, 1981) was used to determine stressors identified by the subjects. The AHSI is a 47-item Likert-type scale in which the subjects assign a degree of stress on a continuum from "no stress" to "a great deal of stress." The items are grouped into seven categories: Separation, Environment, Health Status, Communication with Health Professionals, Self-image, Emotions and Family Status. The early adolescents identified the categories of Self-image and Emotions as most stressful. Both the middle and late adolescents identified Emotions and Separation as the categories of most stress. The category of Family Status was identified as least stressful for all the adolescent substage groups.

In ranking the categories by intensity, both early and middle adolescents rated Separation and Emotions as most stressful. These results coincide with White's findings. Late adolescents rated Emotions, Health Status, and Self-image as most stressful.

When intensity scores were examined for all substages, the majority of scores fell below the midpoint of two on the 0-4 scale. Only the early adolescent substage subjects rated intensity of six of the seven categories with scores above two.


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