Tess M. D. Fletcher, Barbara Mullan, Elizaveta Novoradovskaya & Amy Finlay-Jones (2021) Is ‘a little’ too much?: An exploration of women’s beliefs about alcohol use during pregnancy, Psychology & Health, DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2021.1991342
Interventions to address alcohol use during pregnancy need to target underlying determinants of the behaviour. Using the theory of planned behaviour as a theoretical framework, the aim of this study was to identify behavioural, normative and control beliefs regarding alcohol use during pregnancy among a sample of women.
435 women completed a 15-minute online questionnaire designed to identify beliefs about alcohol use during pregnancy. Data were categorised according to type of belief and then summarised and described.
The majority of respondents saw few advantages of consuming alcohol during pregnancy and believed that most people would disapprove of alcohol use during pregnancy. Although most women endorsed alcohol abstinence during pregnancy, views on the perceived risk of different levels of alcohol use and perceptions of the ‘typical’ person who drinks while pregnant varied between participants.
This work contributes to the understanding of women’s beliefs about alcohol use during pregnancy. Future research should explore how women’s beliefs inform their decision making about different levels of alcohol use in pregnancy. Additionally, further research or messaging about alcohol use in pregnancy must also consider the potential for contributing to stigmatising beliefs.