ackground The experience of fetal echocardiography (as advanced level screening, usually done between 19th and 23rd week of gestation) is a complex psychological condition for mothers. It can influences the relationship they structure with themselves and their future children. Sometimes this examination can result in a diagnosis of fetal congenital heart disease. This event could be critical for the psychological representation of the child, made by mother, pushing her to an emotional blockage or hyper involvement (Righetti, Di Bernardo, Maggino, 2008) . In continuity with specific studies on this topic (ibidem), this research study investigates the configuration of prenatal attachment bond, seen as a measure of “the unique affective relationship that develops between a woman and the child in her belly” (Muller, 1993). This concept refers to representation of mother with the relationship with the fetus (Palacio, Espasa, 1991), thoughts, emotions, behaviors, representing the interaction and the affective involvement with the child (Cranley, 1981). This representation can be influenced by specific psychological variables related to personality of mother and this research study investigates the relation between prenatal attachment and configuration of personality in mother, according to the model of Big Five Theory . Method The objective of the research was : to verify the quality of maternal- fetal attachment and the possible correlations between this and the factors that characterize the personality of the pregnant .The research involved 40 pregnant women (average age: 31,4; SD: 2,4; gestation week: average= 22; SD= 2) undergoing fetal echocardiography, in consideration of a medium to high risk of pregnancy. Assessment instrument : Prenatal Attachment Inventory (P.A.I.) Italian version (Della Vedova et al., 2008). This self-report questionnaire consists of 21 items, with Likert response scale, ranging from “almost never” (1 point) to “almost always” (4 point) and investigates the mother-fetus relationship. Big Five Questionnaire – 2 (Caprara G.V. et al., 2007). This questionnaire consists of 134 item, which investigates 5 fundamental dimensions of personality ( Energy, Friendliness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability, Openness ) . Results The data were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametric statistics; specifically, we applied the ρ Spearman correlation coefficient, to detect possible correlations between prenatal and personality factors. Results show the presence of a good quality of prenatal attachment relationship (medium-high level = 95%) . In reference to personality factors, the study indicate high levels in : Energy (M= 41,8), Friendliness (M=40,4) and Conscientiousness (M= 41,4). Instead, lower levels were found in : Emotional stability (M=38) and Openness (M=37,1). Regarding the results in reference to possible correlations between level of prenatal attachment and personality traits, wasn’t detected any statistically significant relationship between these two variables. Discussion These findings appear to be in discontinuity with a predominance of studies that shows pregnant women at risk would be difficult to bond with the fetus. These results confirm those contributions that emphasize the frequent occurrence of high prenatal attachment before the third trimester (Caccia et al. 1991), when the perception of the first movements of the fetus increases the development of attachment (Cannella, 2005). The absence of significant correlation between level of prenatal attachment and personality traits, and the presenc
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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