Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Nutrition and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Danielle Maack

Second Advisor

John Young

Third Advisor

Rebekah Smith

Relational Format



Pregnancy is notoriously a time of immense changes. Some of which are characterized by disturbances in sleep such as trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, waking after sleep onset, snoring, leg discomfort, and nightmares (Foley, Ancoli-Israel, Britz, and Walsh, 2004; Lee and Gay, 2004; Köthe & Pietrowsky, 2001). Nightmares specifically have been associated with depressive symptoms and suicidality in non-pregnant individuals (Cukrowicz et al., 2006; Tanskanen et al., 2001), but these relations are not as well understood in the pregnant population. The aim of this study was to assess any potential relation between nightmares and depressive symptoms and suicidality in a pregnant sample. In an OBGYN clinic in Mississippi, 440 pregnant women completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to assess nightmares, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 to evaluate depressive symptoms, and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for suicidality. Using correlation analyses, it was found that nightmares were significantly associated with depressive symptoms in a positive direction and that nightmares were not related to suicidality in the pregnant sample. These findings support the existing research and emphasize the importance of understanding how nightmares relate to depression and suicidality in order to improve treatment for pregnant women. Future research is imperative to understanding these relations even more.



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