Objective: Research shows that pregnant women are at an increased risk for experiencing internalizing symptoms, though treatment rates are as low at 5%. Pregnant women experience many difficulties and barriers when seeking care. In the current study, we examined whether a brief self-directed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) intervention improved well-being and reduced internalizing symptoms in pregnant women. Method: Participants were pregnant women (N=39) who expressed interest in acquiring coping strategies during their pregnancy. Participants were randomized into a 7-day self-directed ACT treatment or treatment-as-usual (TAU). Participants completed 5 assessments over the course of their time in the study (baseline, mid-treatment, post-treatment, 1 month postpartum follow up and 3 month postpartum follow up). MLM with piecewise growth curve modeling was used to analyze these data. Results: Results indicated that the intervention was well tolerated and accessible, based on the adherence, retention rate and homework adherence. Two-phase growth curve models indicated significant improvements for the ACT condition in negative affect, stress, and prenatal depression during the treatment phase. There were no significant condition effects in primary or secondary outcomes during the follow up phase. Treatment process measures did not mediate treatment outcome. Conclusion: The results highlight the promising potential of adapting and disseminating existing evidence-based treatments to broader samples.

Degree Date

Summer 8-3-2022

Document Type


Degree Name





Alicia E Meuret

Second Advisor

David Rosenfield

Third Advisor

Stephanie Wilson

Fourth Advisor

Michael Twohig

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Available for download on Thursday, July 29, 2027