RECURRENT PREGNANCY LOSS: PSYCHOLOGICAL SEQUELAE AND COPING
GRATHOUSE, HEIDI RICHELLE
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Recurrent pregnancy loss has received little attention in the research literature despite being recognized as a source of distress. This study examined 126 participants who were either in a recurrent pregnancy loss group (as defined by the ASRM guidelines of 2 or more miscarriages occurring within the first trimester of pregnancy) or a nonpregnancy loss community group. This study tested the hypothesis that depression and anxiety symptoms, as measured by the IDAS would be different for the group of persons that had experienced RPL as compared to the community sample. It was expected that individuals who had experienced RPL would have significantly higher levels of depression and anxiety than the community group. This hypothesis was based upon the finding that elevated anxiety and depressive symptoms are common, and major depressive disorder has been reported at a rate of 10-50% following a miscarriage (Conway & Russell, 2000; LaRoche, et al. 1984). The findings failed to support this hypothesis. The second hypothesis stated that coping styles, as measured by the COPE, would be related to levels of distress as measured by the IDAS. Specifically, active-emotion-focused coping and avoidant coping would be related strongly to negative affect, consistent with research by Folkman and Lazarus (1986), in which it was shown that depressed individuals used relatively less problem-focused coping than non-depressed individuals. Results from this study partially supported this hypothesis and the previous findings.