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Effects of Parental or Caregiver Death Prior to Age Eighteen on Depressive Symptoms and Grief Following Miscarriage

Iyer-Kothari, Anitha

Parental or caregiver death, especially in childhood, can have long lasting emotional ramifications in an individual's life. When this early loss is followed by significant life events such as pregnancy, and losses such as miscarriage, the bereaved woman experiences considerable emotional impact. The present study explores the relationship between parental or caregiver death and miscarriage on depressive symptoms and grief. Specifically, the study examines whether a history of parental or caregiver death affects depressive symptoms and grief following miscarriage such that miscarrying women with parental or caregiver death have higher levels of depressive symptoms and grief than their counterparts who have not experienced parental or caregiver death. The study further examines whether the difference in the level of depressive symptoms between miscarrying women with and without a history of parental or caregiver death is greater than the difference in the level of depressive symptoms between pregnant and non-pregnant/community women with and without a history of parental or caregiver death. Results indicate that miscarrying women who have suffered parental or caregiver death experience more depressive symptoms than miscarrying women who have not suffered parental or caregiver death; pregnant women who have suffered parental or caregiver death prior to age eighteen experience more depressive symptoms than pregnant women who have not suffered parental or caregiver death prior to age eighteen. However, the difference in the level of depressive symptoms in miscarrying women with and without as history of parental or caregiver death is not greater than the difference in the level of depressive symptoms in pregnant and non-pregnant/community women with and without a history of parental or caregiver death. No association was found between parental or caregiver death and grief in miscarrying women. Results are discussed in the context of psychodynamic, relational, and attachment-based explanatory models.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Clinical Psychology
Thesis Advisors
Farber, Barry A.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 14, 2011
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