Date of Award
Master of Art
Jessie B. Harris Jr.
Rev. Jill Walter-Penn
Parents who experience a miscarriage, stillbirth, or newborn death often find themselves feeling profound grief with limited support or understanding from the community. Support groups for this population have emerged and gained in popularity throughout the country. This research will focus on specifically on the miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn death experience and how the support group can meet these parents needs.
Parents attending SHARE pregnancy loss support groups participated in the study. Questionnaires were given to SHARE group leaders from all regions of the United States to distribute at their meetings. Fourteen men and twenty women completed questionnaires anonymously that supplied demographic characteristics and information on their pregnancy loss history. A 17 item instrument was constructed to measure the perceived therapeutic factors of participation in the support group. The participants were then asked to choose the top three group functions and to rank them.
The support received from meeting others with similar losses, sharing stories, and the expression and acceptance of feelings were the most highly rated group functions for men and women. The educational components were least valued. A significant gender difference for preference was found for only one group function. Women rated; Finding out that others feel as I do, "I'm not crazy" as more significant than did men.
Beitch, Leslie Williams, "Pregnancy Loss Support Groups: A Comparison of Therapeutic Factors for Men and Women" (1994). Theses. 372.
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