The Use of a Stress and Coping Model to Understand Women's Experiences with Abortion

dc.contributor.authorMoscovis Denny, Christa A.en
dc.contributor.committeechairStith, Sandra M.en
dc.contributor.committeememberColeman, Jean U.en
dc.contributor.committeememberMcCollum, Eric E.en
dc.contributor.departmentFamily and Child Developmenten
dc.description.abstractSix women participated in a qualitative study to understand women's experiences with abortion. The women ranged in age from 52 to 26, and were at least five years post-abortion. A questionnaire was developed using a stress and coping model as a guide to answer the following: relevant primary and reappraisal processes; problem-focused and emotion-focused coping strategies; resources; and personal and environmental constraints. The results give the women's individual experiences as well as the themes that were consistent for the participants. The women all appraised the situation of an unplanned pregnancy as stressful. All of the participants viewed having the child as a threat to their education, career, or relationship with family. Although all of the women thought some part of the procedure was more stressful than they had anticipated, all found ways to cope with differing levels of stress. The women saw their friends, family, ob-gyn physicians, priest, and clinic staff as resources during the experience. The women most often reported that religious beliefs constrained their abilities to cope. They also reported a lack of information about the abortion procedure and possible physical and emotional effects as environmental constraints. Overall, all but one participant would make the same decision, and all viewed themselves as coping well with a stressful life event.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectQualitative Interviewsen
dc.subjectPregnancy Terminationen
dc.subjectStress and Copingen
dc.subjectWomen's Experiencesen
dc.titleThe Use of a Stress and Coping Model to Understand Women's Experiences with Abortionen
dc.typeThesisen and Child Developmenten Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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