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Stillbirth and stigma: The spoiling and repair of multiple social identities

Brierley-Jones, Lyn, Crawley, Rosalind, Lomax, S. and Ayers, S (2014) Stillbirth and stigma: The spoiling and repair of multiple social identities. OMEGA: The Journal of Death and Dying, 70 (2). pp. 143-168. ISSN 0030-2228

Item Type: Article


This study investigated mothers' experiences surrounding stillbirth in the United Kingdom, their memory making and sharing opportunities, and the effect these opportunities had on them. Qualitative data were generated from free text responses to open-ended questions. Thematic content analysis revealed that "stigma" was experienced by most women and Goffman's (1963) work on stigma was subsequently used as an analytical framework. Results suggest that stillbirth can spoil the identities of "patient," "mother," and "full citizen." Stigma was reported as arising from interactions with professionals, family, friends, work colleagues, and even casual acquaintances. Stillbirth produces common learning experiences often requiring "identity work" (Murphy, 2012). Memory making and sharing may be important in this work and further research is needed. Stigma can reduce the memory sharing opportunities for women after stillbirth and this may explain some of the differential mental health effects of memory making after stillbirth that is documented in the literature.

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Depositing User: Hannah Dodd


Item ID: 4942
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ISSN: 0030-2228
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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2014 09:04
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:37


Author: Lyn Brierley-Jones
Author: Rosalind Crawley
Author: S. Lomax
Author: S Ayers

University Divisions

Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing
Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellbeing > School of Nursing and Health Sciences


Sciences > Health Sciences

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