Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)




Purpose of the Study

The thesis of this study is that personality characteristics can be shown as factors in the variation of behavior which occurs during labor and childbirth. It is felt that if personality traits can be measured by a standard device they will correlate with various types of behavior expressed during labor. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is one instrument which tests all of the more important phases of personality. This test was chosen as the device to be used in this study to determine the personality traits of the women involved. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if the scores obtained in the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory can be used to correlate personality traits with the behavior expressed during labor.

Assuming that behavior can be predicted, it can be hypothesized that doctors could use the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory or some other personality test to study their patients personalities early in pregnancies and could counsel them in overcoming emotional and personal problems. This should make the patients labors and deliveries much easier.

With the increased interest during the past few years in the psychological factors involved in pregnancy, it is felt that a study of personality traits might point a way to further study in this field. To this end the chief objective of this research has been to determine whether a positive correlation can be found between observed types of behavior during labor and delivery and scores on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

Method of procedure

Seven basic behavior types showing reactions expressed during labor and delivery were devised by six nurses with obstetrical experience. Patients were chosen who had no previous childbearing experience and who received a limited amount of medication. The patients were observed during labor and then placed in one of the behavior categories. The day after delivery the patients were given the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This method of procedure is discussed more fully in Chapter Three.





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