Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 429–436 | Cite as

The relationship among preconception depression, anxiety, and social support of the reproductive-aged women in China

Original Article


The reproductive-aged women have to face physiological and psychological challenges as long as they plan to conceive. However, most previous studies focused on depression and anxiety during pregnancy. This study aimed to investigate the association among preconception depression, anxiety, and social support of the Chinese reproductive-aged women. Nine-hundred five reproductive-aged women who planned to conceive for the first or second time in the next three months were recruited through the Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital and Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital from three provinces in China. Social Support Rating Scale, Self-Rating Depression Scale, and Self-Rating Anxiety Scale were used in this study. The hierarchical regression model was employed to examine the prediction effect of the three sub-dimensions of social support on preconception depression and anxiety. Of the reproductive-aged women, 25.86 and 13.04% had preconception depression and anxiety symptoms. Nearly all reproductive-aged women had moderate and high social support before pregnancy. The significant differences in depression and anxiety among different levels of occupation and monthly income were found. For depression and anxiety, objective support, support availability, and subjective support simultaneously entered into the model still could significantly explain 5.9 and 6.7% of variations after controlling for the demographic variables, respectively. According to this study, there were significant correlations among preconception depression, anxiety, and social support. And objective support, support availability, and subjective support could negatively predict preconception depression and anxiety. Attaching importance to the preconception mental health and social support can provide effective scientific support for helping women fully understand and effectively use the social resources, and scientifically prepare for pregnancy.


Depression Anxiety Social support Preconception Reproductive-aged women 



The authors would like to thank Dian Chen, Chuyang Ma, and Liming Chen for their assistance with data collection. Many thanks also go to all the workers from the Maternity and Child Healthcare Hospital and Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital and all the reproductive-aged women who participated in this research.

Author’s contributions

JX designed the study, analyzed the data, interpreted the results, and drafted the manuscript. PC conceived, designed, and supervised the study, analyzed the data, and revised the manuscript. XM collected the data and revised the manuscript. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript.

Funding information

The study was supported by the Special Fund of the Chinese Central Government for Basic Scientific Research Operations (2016GJM03).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval for this study was granted by the Ethics Committee of the National Research Institute for Family Planning, Beijing, China.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center for Mental Health and Behavior Big DataNational Research Institute for Family PlanningBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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