Date of Award

Summer 8-2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Counseling Psychology


Professional Psychology and Family Therapy


Pamela Foley, Ph.D

Committee Member

Daniel Cruz, Ph.D

Committee Member

Brian Cole, Ph.D

Committee Member

Christiana I. Awosan, Ph.D


Pregnancy Loss, Posttraumatic Growth, Family Process, Miscarriage, Stillbirth


Pregnancy loss, from early miscarriage through full-term stillbirth, is a problem that affects a significant percentage of child bearing women. Such a loss can lead to varied negative psychological outcomes such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other adjustment disorders. Posttraumatic growth, the ability to make meaning through the processing of a trauma, is a concept that, while well researched among other trauma populations, has barely been considered in relation to pregnancy loss. This study examined posttraumatic growth among 103 women who had experienced a pregnancy loss. Using a hierarchical regression it examined the role that perinatal grief, family processes, hope, and coping styles uniquely play in predicting posttraumatic growth. Results supported the idea that a significant amount of such women do experience posttraumatic growth. Other than hope, all variables uniquely predicted posttraumatic growth. It is recommended that clinicians consider including posttraumatic growth as a therapeutic goal when working with women who have experienced a pregnancy loss.