Denise M. Werchan, NYU Langone Health
Cassandra L. Hendrix, NYU Langone Health
Jennifer C. Ablow, University of Oregon
Ananda B. Amstadter PhD, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityFollow
Autumn C. Austin, NYU Langone Health
Vanessa Babineau, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
G. Anne Bogat, Michigan State University
Leigh-Anne Cioffredi, University of Vermont
Elisabeth Conradt, University of Utah
Sheila E. Cromwell, University of Utah
Dani Dumitriu, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
William Fifer, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Morgan R. Firestein, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Wei Gao, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Ian H. Gotlib, Stanford University
Alice M. Graham, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Kimberly D. Gregory, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Hanna C. Gustafsson, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Kathryn L. Havens, University of Southern California
Brittany R. Howell, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Kathryn L. Humphreys, Vanderbilt University
Lucy S. King, Stanford University
Patricia Kinser, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityFollow
Elizabeth E. Krans, University of Pittsburgh
Carly Lenniger, NYU Langone Health
Alytia A. Levendosky, Michigan State University
Joseph S. Lonstein, Michigan State University
Rachel Marcus, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Catherine Monk, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Sara W. Moyer, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityFollow
Maria Muzik, University of Michigan
Amy K. Nuttall, Michigan State University
Alexandra S. Potter, University of Vermont
Amy Salisbury, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityFollow
Lauren C. Shuffrey, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Beth A. Smith, University of Southern California
Lynne Smith, The Lundquist Institute at Harbor-UCLA
Elinor L. Sullivan, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Judy Zhou, University of Southern California
Moriah E. Thomason, NYU Langone Health
Natalie H. Brito, New York University

Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Scientific Reports





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

October 2023


The impact of COVID-19-related stress on perinatal women is of heightened public health concern given the established intergenerational impact of maternal stress-exposure on infants and fetuses. There is urgent need to characterize the coping styles associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes in perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic to help mitigate the potential for lasting sequelae on both mothers and infants. This study uses a data-driven approach to identify the patterns of behavioral coping strategies that associate with maternal psychosocial distress during the COVID-19 pandemic in a large multicenter sample of pregnant women (N = 2876) and postpartum women (N = 1536). Data was collected from 9 states across the United States from March to October 2020. Women reported behaviors they were engaging in to manage pandemic-related stress, symptoms of depression, anxiety and global psychological distress, as well as changes in energy levels, sleep quality and stress levels. Using latent profile analysis, we identified four behavioral phenotypes of coping strategies. Critically, phenotypes with high levels of passive coping strategies (increased screen time, social media, and intake of comfort foods) were associated with elevated symptoms of depression, anxiety, and global psychological distress, as well as worsening stress and energy levels, relative to other coping phenotypes. In contrast, phenotypes with high levels of active coping strategies (social support, and self-care) were associated with greater resiliency relative to other phenotypes. The identification of these widespread coping phenotypes reveals novel behavioral patterns associated with risk and resiliency to pandemic-related stress in perinatal women. These findings may contribute to early identification of women at risk for poor long-term outcomes and indicate malleable targets for interventions aimed at mitigating lasting sequelae on women and children during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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VCU Psychiatry Publications