School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Jason K. Ward


perinatal loss, grief, complicated spiritual grief, religious coping




The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of grief, coping, and spiritual crisis in the lives of women who faced perinatal loss. The theory guiding this study was Pargament’s Theory of Religious Coping, as it explains the role of religious coping in the potential development of complicated grief and complicated spiritual grief. One central research question guided this study: how do women with religious/spiritual beliefs describe their lived experience of grief from perinatal loss? The sample size for the study was eight women with religious/spiritual beliefs who experienced perinatal loss. Data were collected using an unstructured, open-ended interview in an online setting using the Zoom videoconference platform. Data were analyzed using an eidetic analysis method. The findings of this study described the common experience of grief after perinatal loss in women with religious/spiritual beliefs. The data analysis revealed thirteen constituents that comprise the essential structure of grief related to perinatal loss in women with religious/spiritual beliefs. This study is significant to community counseling and mental health professionals as it informs those working with women who experienced perinatal loss concerning their loss and grief experiences. Additionally, this study contributes to the gap in the literature on the grief associated with perinatal loss in women with religious/spiritual beliefs.

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