Since the legalization of abortion, some research studies have argued that abortion has a neutral effect when considering other coexistent factors (e.g. Adler et al., 1990; Major et al., 2000; Steinberg & Russo, 2008). Other studies have concluded that abortion has a negative influence on women's psyche (e.g. Congleton & Calhoun, 1993; Cougle, Reardon, & Coleman, 2005; Hamana et al., 2010). College populations have been generally excluded from abortion research, even though, in 2007, 57% of women obtaining abortions were between the ages of 20 and 30 years (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). This study intended to measure the influence of induced abortion on the current mental health status of college women and describe the characteristics of women obtaining abortions. An online survey was administered to female college students (N= 46). The participants were divided into two pregnancy outcome groups: (1) women who reported a history of fetal deliveries, and (2) women who reported a history of abortion. Each group was asked if abortion or fetal delivery contributed to their current mental health status. Independent variables included the participants' pregnancy outcome (abortion vs. delivery) and establishing if abortion/fetal delivery contributed to current mental health (yes/no answer). The dependent variables included current psychological distress symptoms as measured by the nine primary symptom dimensions of the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised. The data were analyzed using a two-way mixed-design MANOVA. Evidence indicated that psychological symptoms were not dependent on respondents' perception of whether or not current mental health was affected by pregnancy outcome. This study does not support public policies or practice based on the belief that abortion emotionally harms women. Further research should concentrate in strategies to prevent unwanted pregnancy in order to reduce the need for abortion.
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Fouty, H. Edward
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
UCF Daytona Beach
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Bologna, Estefany, "Effects of abortion on college women's mental health" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1386.