Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A journey of pregnancy loss: From positivism to autoethnography
by Sell-Smith, Julie Ann, Psy.D., Union Institute and University, 2013, 107; 3601607
Abstract (Summary)

The experience of anxiety and depression can have detrimental effects on the body, especially that of a developing fetus. Depression and anxiety have been linked to the experience of greater pregnancy symptoms, miscarriage, poorer birth outcomes and difficult deliveries. Despite their detrimental effects, depression and anxiety may be common during the prenatal period. A history of miscarriage may heighten normally occurring symptoms, adding a layer of difficulty to an already stressful time period.

Mind-body practices have been linked to a number of health benefits, including attenuation of psychiatric symptoms and improved pregnancy outcomes. While many of these practices have received increasing attention in popular literature, lacking are studies utilizing large, randomized clinical trials empirically validating the efficacy of these interventions.

The purpose of the original study was to examine whether miscarriage status and the engagement in mind-body practices were associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety in pregnant women. Forty-three (N=43) pregnant women in the second and third trimesters were recruited and questioned about their pregnancy, their engagement in mind-body practices (past and present) and were asked to complete the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). It was anticipated that women with a miscarriage history would report higher levels of anxiety and depression and that women engaging in mind-body practice, past or present, would report lower levels of depression and anxiety. When statistical analyses failed to yield significant results, this author chose to explore the process of generating new knowledge through autoethnography. This dissertation moved from an empirical study to a qualitative, autoethnographic exploration of pregnancy loss in which the themes of meaning making, personhood and the expression of feelings were explored through the literature, the author's personal experience and through participation in an online pregnancy loss support group.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lax, William
Commitee: Rubik, Beverly, Sears, Richard
School: Union Institute and University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Nursing, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Autoethnography, Miscarriage, Pregnancy loss
Publication Number: 3601607
ISBN: 978-1-303-53084-5
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