The loss of self: The effect of miscarriage, stillbirth, and child death on maternal self-esteem

Patricia Wonch Hill, Joanne Cacciatore, Karina M. Shreffler, Kayla M. Pritchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalDeath Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


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