Thanks are extended to Darryl Somers and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. Also thank you to the women in this study who shared a most personal experience.
Women's Reactions to Miscarriage: The Role of Attributions, Coping Styles, and Knowledge1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 59–76, January 1995
How to Cite
James, D. S. and Kristiansen, C. M. (1995), Women's Reactions to Miscarriage: The Role of Attributions, Coping Styles, and Knowledge. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 25: 59–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1995.tb01584.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
This study examined 72 women's retrospectively reported reactions to miscarriage, including depression, stress, and anxiety. The buffering role of women's attributional explanations for the event, the significance of the loss of the baby, coping strategies, and women's knowledge of miscarriage were also assessed. Correlational analyses revealed that women's attributions were tied to their reactions, in that the more women blamed their own character or doctor, the more severely they reacted. Coping strategies accounted for a large portion of the variance (64%), whereby women who used cognitive restructuring as a strategy suffered less adverse reactions than did those who used social withdrawal or wishrul thinking. Women's knowledge before miscarriage, rather than after, accounted for 6% of the variance in their reactions. Examining the interrelations of these variables revealed that the amount of women's knowledge before miscarriage was related to less wishful thinking, and their knowledge after the event was related to less problem avoidance. Women's attributions were also related to their coping strategies: Blaming one's character, behavior, or doctor were positively related to self-criticism and social withdrawal, and negatively related to support from doctors and significant others. The implications of these findings for interventions to facilitate adjustment to miscarriage and future research are discussed.