The Meaning and Impact of Partner's Accompaniment on Women's Adjustment to Abortion1


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    We would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Kathleen Damon and the help and goodwill of Marilynn Buckham, Margie, Pat, Barb, Wendy, Joanie, Sharon, Sue F., Sue W., Sue G., Ada, Elaine, and everyone else at Buffalo GYN Womenservices Clinic, without whom this study could not have been conducted.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Catherine Cozzarelli, Department of Psychology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66502. e-mail: PSYCOZZ@KSUVM


The present study examined the meaning of accompaniment to an abortion clinic by a male partner and explored the effects of accompaniment on women's immediate and three-week post-abortion psychological distress. A comparison of accompanied and unaccompanied women revealed few differences in demographic or psychological characteristics, although accompanied women perceived greater levels of social support from their partners and reported that they were in more committed relationships. The effects of accompaniment on women's post-abortion distress were neither universally positive nor universally negative, but depended on the personal characteristics of the women involved. Consistent with Conservation of Resources Theory (Hobfoll, 1988), accompaniment was more beneficial for women who were high in personal coping resources than for women low in these resources.