A child’s death augments how grieving parents view the world, the family, and the self. Using a representative sample of women ages 25–45 who have ever given birth, we assessed whether miscarriage, stillbirth, and child death impact self-esteem and whether this loss is moderated by maternal identity. We found that stillbirth and child death, but not miscarriage, negatively impacted self-esteem. For those who experienced a loss, the impact on self-esteem was moderated by maternal identity. Women who experienced a stillbirth were the only group who had significantly lower self-esteem after controlling for background characteristics and maternal identity variables.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)