The psychological experience of miscarriage on women and their families

Loraine Alderman, Pace University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain a fuller understanding of the implications of a miscarriage as experienced not only by a woman but also her partner and family.^ This study investigated: (1) If women and their partners would have significantly different grieving experiences and stress reactions, (2) If a woman's grief experience and stress reaction would significantly change with the passage of time, and (3) If a man's grief experience and stress reaction would significantly change with the passage of time.^ The subjects consisted of 97 women and 61 men who experienced a miscarriage within the first twenty weeks of gestation. Each subject filled out: (1) Grief Experience Inventory-Loss Version, (2) Impact of Event Scale, (3) Miscarriage Experience and Needs Assessment Questionnaire, and (4) The Parental Role Questionnaire.^ Results revealed significant differences in grieving between women and their partners, specifically with women scoring significantly higher on measure of Despair, Anger/Hostility, Somatization, Rumination, Loss of Control and, current Subjective Distress and in particular, Intrusive Distress than their partners.^ An overall significant relationship between grieving and the passage of time was not found to be significant in women. However, a Scheffe test revealed: (1) A significant decrease in Loss of Control between the group of women who miscarried one year ago and women who miscarried six or more years ago, (2) Rumination was found to significantly decrease between the group of women who miscarried one year ago from those who miscarried two years ago, and in the group who miscarried one year, from those who miscarried six or more years ago.^ Women were found to have an overall significant inverse relationship between current Subjective Distress and the passage of time since their miscarriage. Men were not found to have a significant difference in their grieving experience or stress reactions with regard to the passage of time since their partner's miscarriage.^ Results of this study were discussed in light of how the following affect the marital and child relationships: (1) Women and their partners have significantly different ways of handling the miscarriage, (2) The level of stress experienced, is similar to some PTSD populations, and (3) Women and men continue to grieve with the passage of time. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology|Women's Studies|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Loraine Alderman, "The psychological experience of miscarriage on women and their families" (January 1, 1996). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9626326.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9626326

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