Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the relationship between shame, Antepartum Depression, and treatment seeking. Research shows that shame plays a role in Major Depression and other disorders. For the present study, the first hypothesis was that shame is positively correlated with Antepartum Depression as measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The second hypothesis was that shame would be negatively correlated with treatment seeking behaviors. The third hypothesis was that psychoeducation about Antepartum Depression could lower the level of shame and increase treatment seeking behavior. This study consisted of using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to determine depression in pregnant women; a measure to determine risk of prenatal depression; the Internalized Shame Scale and 2 questions intended to determine motivation for seeking treatment and an opportunity to a comments for a qualitative portion of the study. Participants were solicited through ads placed on Craigslist. After completing the preliminary survey, women were directed to either view a psychoeducation webcast about Antepartum Depression, or to a consumer information website. Participants completed a posttest to determine if a significant level of change occurred in degree of shame and receptivity toward treatment in relation to action taking participants compared to those who took no action. Fifty-five participants between the ages of 19 and 42, who were located in 31 states, completed both parts of the study. A T-test, ANOVA and a qualitative analysis were run to determine the results of the study. The first hypothesis was found true: Shame and Depression, as determined by the EPDS are positively correlated. Because of the lack of participation in watching the psychoeducation video, the second hypothesis was inconclusive and due to an unintentional flaw in the research design, hypothesis 3 was also inconclusive. Of interest is that while only a few women watched the video this study was able to discover that women who sought support following the pretest showed greater lessening of shame and depression levels in the posttest. Qualitative information was gathered and indicates many of the stressors and treatments available to women.

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