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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 1993 Winter;39(4):255-65.

Post-abortion perceptions: a comparison of self-identified distressed and nondistressed populations.

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Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte 28223.


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. 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 degree 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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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