Behavior in Pregnancy Study (BIPS): 1992-1995

Study Goal:

To differentiate between the contributions of psychological stress and physical strain or exertion to preterm delivery and low birthweight. Both of these factors are associated with poor perinatal outcome. However, few studies focus on the separable and confounding         effects of psychological stress and physical exertion or strain controlling for other                   determinants of birth outcomes such as medical complications, demographics and health   behaviors.


A prospective and longitudinal study was conducted of over 400 women recruited from public, private and managed health care settings (HMOs). The sample was diverse in            ethnicity, maternal risk conditions and parity. Women entered into the study before 20 weeks gestation and were studied at three times prenatally and once postpartum                    assessing   perceived stress and physical strain through interview and biochemical                  samples (urinary catecholamine and plasma cortisol, CRH) as well as biophysical                      parameters (ultrasound at each visit). Health behaviors and social support were also              assessed. Outcomes were obtained from medical charts.

Funded by NICHD “Stress Determinants of Low Birthweight and Preterm Birth”
PI: Calvin Hobel
CoPI: Chris Dunkel Schetter
CoInvestigators: Lony Castro, Larry Platt, Andrew Johnson, Linda Burnes-Bolton

Coding Manuals

Time 1 (09-13-1993):   Questionnaire   |   Interview 

Time 2 (07-25-1994):   Questionnaire    |   Interview 

Time 3 (07-25-1994):   Questionnaire   |   Interview 

Time 4 (07-25-1994):   Questionnaire   |   Interview 

Post Loss (06-07-1993):   Questionnaire   |   Interview 

Selected Publications

Hahn-Holbrook, J., Dunkel Schetter, C., Arora, C., & Hobel, C. J. (2013).                                          Placental corticotropin-releasing hormone mediates the association between prenatal    social support and postpartum depression. Clinical Psychological Science1(3), 253-265. View file: 

Gurung, R. A. R., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Collins, N., Rini, M., & Hobel, C. J. (2005).                            Psychosocial predictors of prenatal anxiety. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24(4), 497-519. View file: 

Parker-Dominguez, T., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Mancuso, R., Rini, C. M., & Hobel, C. J. (2005). Stress in African-American pregnancies: Testing the roles of various stress concepts in            prediction of birth outcomes. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 29(1), 12-21. View file: 

Mancuso, R. A., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Rini, C. M., Roesch, S.C., & Hobel, C. J. (2004). Maternal prenatal anxiety and corticotropin-releasing hormone associated with timing of delivery. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66, 762-769.  View file: 

Roesch, S. C., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Woo, G., & Hobel, C. J. (2004). Modeling the types and timing of stress in pregnancy. Anxiety, Stress, and Coping, 17(1), 87-102. View file: 

Herrmann, T. S., Siega-Riz, A. M., Hobel, C. J., Aurora, C., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (2001).              Prolonged periods without food intake during pregnancy increases risk for                                  elevated maternal corticotropin-releasing hormone concentrations. American Journal        of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 185(2), 403-412.  View file: 

Feldman,P. J., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sandman, C. A., & Wadhwa, P. D. (2000). Maternal social support predicts birth weight and fetal growth in human pregnancy. Psychosomatic            Medicine62(5), 715-725.
View file: 

Sagrestano, L. M., Feldman, P.,Killingsworth-Rini,C., Woo, G., & Dunkel-Schetter, C. (1999). Ethnicity and social support during pregnancy. American Journal of Community                       Psychology, 27(6), 873-902.
View file: 

Hobel, C. J., Dunkel-Schetter, C., Roesch, S. C., Castro, L. C., & Arora, C. P. (1999). Maternal plasma corticotropin-releasing hormone associated with stress at 20 weeks’ gestation in pregnancies ending in preterm delivery. American Journal of Obstetrics                                      and Gynecology180(1), S257-S263. 
View file: 

Hobel, C., Dunkel-Schetter, C., & Roesch, S. (1998). Maternal stress as a signal to the fetus. Prenatal and Neonatal Medicine, 3, 116-120. View file: Request from Authors

Dunkel-Schetter, C., Sagrestano, L., Feldman, P., & Killingsworth, C. (1996). Social                  support and pregnancy: A comprehensive review focusing on ethnicity and culture. In G. Pierce, B. Sarason, & I. Sarason (Eds.), Handbook of social support and the family (pp. 375-412). Plenum. View file: