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Pregnancy Loss: Disenfranchised Grief and Other Psychological Reactions

Description: It is widely acknowledged in the literature that grief is most intense when it is experienced by parents whose children have died. However, as recently as 20 years ago, mothers whose children died at birth or before the pregnancy had reached full term were often dismissed as merely medical patients, and their psychological reactions were not considered or acknowledged by professionals, their friends, or their families. More recently fields such as psychology have recognized that women who have experienced pregnancy loss have complex psychological reactions to their loss. The present study examined the patterns of grief of women who have had a pregnancy end in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth and the ways in which these women gave meaning to their experiences. Participants were asked to complete several measures including the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS), the Hogan Grief reaction Checklist (HGRC), the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSS), and the Inventory of Social Support (ISS). The participants also wrote a narrative account of their loss experience. These narratives were content analyzed to delineate common themes. The findings indicated several important factors which may be useful in understanding and assisting in post-loss adjustment.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Clower, Christen E.
Partner: UNT Libraries