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Religious Beliefs Affect Grieving After Pregnancy Loss

Abstract

Religious beliefs and practices may aid in coping with bereavement and grief after pregnancy loss. Data from 103 women enrolled in the original Lehigh Valley Perinatal Loss Project, and who were followed-up for at least 1 year, were evaluated for the impact of initial religious practices and beliefs on the course and severity of grief. Religious practices corresponding to standard scales of religiosity and agreement with specific beliefs were rated by the women on a Likert scale of 1–5. Neither agreement with statements corresponding to extrinsic and intrinsic religiosity or to positive religious coping, nor frequency of religious service attendance was predictive of follow-up scores on the Perinatal Grief Scale. Religious struggle, agreement with statements classified as negative religious coping, and continued attachment to the baby were all associated with more severe grief.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported in part by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation (www.templeton.org) to the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health of Duke University Medical Center and by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of Lehigh University.

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Correspondence to F. S. Cowchock.

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Cowchock, F.S., Lasker, J.N., Toedter, L.J. et al. Religious Beliefs Affect Grieving After Pregnancy Loss. J Relig Health 49, 485–497 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-009-9277-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-009-9277-3

Keywords

  • Pregnancy loss
  • Grief/-ving
  • Religiosity
  • Religious beliefs
  • Religious coping
  • Religious struggle
  • Continued attachment
  • Continuing bonds