ERIC Number: ED370020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Post-Abortion Perceptions; A Comparison of Self-Identified Distressed and Nondistressed Populations.
Congleton, G. Kam; Calhoun, Lawrence G.
Following the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, the psychological impact of abortion has been a focus of research in the United States. This study investigated the experiences of 25 women who described themselves as responding in an emotionally distressed manner to abortion and a comparison group of 25 women reporting more relieving/neutral responses. Participants were volunteers from various regions of the country. Current and initial stress response to the abortion, general mental health, and demographic characteristics were assessed quantitatively, and interviews explored subjective perceptions. The distress group had significantly higher scores on initial stress response and religiosity, were more often currently affiliated with conservative churches, and reported lower degrees of social support and confidence in the abortion decision. Qualitatively, 48% of the distress group recalled experiencing feelings of loss immediately post-abortion, in contrast to none in the nondistress group. Both groups identified post-abortion "catalytic" events, such as subsequent childbirth, that affected responses to the abortion over time. (BF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (101st, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 20-24, 1993).