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The Psychological Experience of Miscarriage on Women and Their Families
                                                          Loraine Alderman, Pace University Dissertation

Abstract
The purpose of this study was to gain a fuller understanding of the implications of a miscarriage as experienced not only by a woman but also her partner and family.

This study investigated:
(1) If women and their partners would have significantly different grieving experiences and stress reactions,
(2) If a woman's grief experience and stress reaction would significantly change with the passage of time, and (3) If a man's grief experience and stress reaction would significantly change with the passage of time.

The subjects consisted of 97 women and 61 men who experienced a miscarriage within the first twenty weeks of gestation. Each subject filled out:
(1) Grief Experience Inventory-Loss Version,
(2) Impact of Event Scale,
(3) Miscarriage Experience and Needs Assessment Questionnaire, and
(4) The Parental Role Questionnaire.

Results revealed significant differences in grieving between women and their partners, specifically with women scoring significantly higher on measure of Despair, Anger/Hostility, Somatization, Rumination, Loss of Control and, current Subjective Distress and in particular, Intrusive Distress than their partners.

An overall significant relationship between grieving and the passage of time was not found to be significant in women. However, a Scheffe test revealed:
(1) A significant decrease in Loss of Control between the group of women who miscarried one year ago and women who miscarried six or more years ago,
(2) Rumination was found to significantly decrease between the group of women who miscarried one year ago from those who miscarried two years ago, and in the group who miscarried one year, from those who miscarried six or more years ago.

Women were found to have an overall significant inverse relationship between current Subjective Distress and the passage of time since their miscarriage. Men were not found to have a significant difference in their grieving experience or stress reactions with regard to the passage of time since their partner's miscarriage.

Results of this study were discussed in light of how the following affect the marital and child relationships:
(1) Women and their partners have significantly different ways of handling the miscarriage,
(2) The level of stress experienced, is similar to some PTSD populations, and
(3) Women and men continue to grieve with the passage of time.

Subject Area
HEALTH SCIENCES, OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY (0380); WOMEN'S STUDIES (0453); PSYCHOLOGY, CLINICAL (0622); SOCIOLOGY, INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDIES (0628)

Recommended Citation
Loraine Alderman, "The psychological experience of miscarriage on women and their families" (January 1, 1996). ETD Collection for Pace University. Paper AAI9626326.
http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/dissertations/AAI9626326
The Psychological Experience of Miscarriage on Women and Their Families
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The Nassau County Psychologist
Vol. 34, No. 1, Winter, 2008
 
Why Volunteering for Morning Duty Can Be Rewarding
 
LORAINE ALDERMAN, Psy.D.
(edited with permission)
Volunteering for more work is the last thing that most people want
to think about. Having worked for a few years in middle schools, the
beginning of the school year was relatively calm. When I switched to
working in an elementary school, the Principal had asked me to help
out the first week with the arrival of kindergarten and first grade
students. Prying screaming children from their parentís arms was not
something that was covered in any of my psychology classes. Initially,
I could not wait for the first week of school to be over. Although, their
behavior improved as time went on, I continued to volunteer my time
in the mornings. Rather than feeling resentful about having to give up
more of my precious time, I found myself looking forward to helping
out in the morning.
Being in the cafeteria when the special education students first
entered was very beneficial. I was able to see right away who was coming
off of the bus ready to wreak havoc. There were many times a situation
was able to be diffused by befriending an angry child before they
reached their designated area. This informal format was also a general
way for the special education students to get to know me without it
being a testing situation. Since their waiting area was in the cafeteria,
it enabled the students opportunities that they did not always have
in the classroom. For example, some of the students were able to be
monitors and some of the students were selected and paired with
kindergarten students who needed help with their breakfast. These
activities worked wonders for their self-esteem.
I find that so much of our job has become testing or crisis intervention
that the opportunity to interact with students when they are
not misbehaving or being tested is limited. I feel that the twenty to
twenty-five minutes that I volunteer of my time in the morning is very
beneficial. It enables me to eye-ball the special-education students
and either diffuse their behavior early on or know who I have to check
up on during the day. The students wave hello to me in the hallways
and do not hesitate to come with me if I need to take them out of the
classroom.
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