The effects of knowledge, coping styles, and attributions on women's reactions to miscarriage


Anderson, Deborah S.




This thesis examined 56 women's reactions to miscarriage, including their depression, stress, and anxiety. The moderating role of women's knowledge of miscarriage, the significance of the loss of the baby, coping strategies, and attributional explanations for the event were also assessed. Correlational and regression analyses revealed that women's knowledge before miscarriage, rather than after, accounted for nine percent of the variance in a composite index of their reactions. Also, coping strategies accounted for a large proportion of the variance in women's reactions (54%), whereby women who used cognitive restructuring as a strategy suffered less severe reactions than those who used wishful thinking or social withdrawal. Women's attributions for the miscarriage also affected their reactions in that women who blamed their own character or doctor reacted more severely. Examining the interrelations of these variables revealed that women's knowledge before their miscarriage was related to less use of wishful thinking, while their knowledge after the event was related to less problem avoidance and more expression of emotions. Women's attributions were also related to her choice of coping strategies: Blaming one's character and behaviour were positively related to self-criticism and social withdrawal and negatively related to doctor's support. The implications of these findings for interventions designed to facilitate adjustment to miscarriage and future research are discussed.


Miscarriage -- Psychological Aspects




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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