Prior abortion does not negatively affect feelings of parental competence


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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A recent study found that a prior induced abortion did not negatively impact a woman’s psychological well-being or her thoughts about her competence as a parent when she later became a mother.

Previous studies suggest that later reproductive events bring back thoughts and emotions relating to an earlier abortion and negatively affect the woman’s mental health. However, in one study, the psychological resilience of women, in terms of how they experienced the event, was found to be more predictive of post-event mental health problems than the event itself.

In the current study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica administered questionnaires to 492 first-time mothers, 37 of whom had previously had an abortion, and their partners (n=436) when their child was 18 months old.

A prior induced abortion was not predictive of maternal or paternal well-being or parental self-efficacy. Overall, maternal and paternal psychological well-being was predictive of parental self-efficacy, regardless of abortion history.

After testing the invariance of multi-group models, psychological well-being was similarly found to predict parental self-efficacy in both the abortion history and comparison groups.

“Since induced abortion is the only type of pregnancy loss that women have influence over themselves, information about the consequences is crucial when the issue is under consideration,” the authors wrote.