Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. M. Michele Burnette

Second Advisor

Dr. Galen Alessi

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Meinhold

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kevin Armstrong


The efficacy of exposing bereaved parents to stimuli associated with their deceased child as a means of alleviating their grief reaction was explored. Three parents who had suffered a perinatal loss participated. Pre, post, and follow-up measures of depression, hopelessness, anxiety, marital functioning, daily stress, psychopathology, bereavement and grief were gathered.

Results showed clinically significant improvement for two of the three subjects on measures of depression and psychopathology. All subjects showed improved marital functioning. Negative change was seen on a measure of hopelessness for two of the three subjects. The treatment effects for symptoms of stress, anxiety, bereavement and grief were mixed. Subjective reports from the parents provided support for the utility of the intervention. Implications for medical and mental health care providers involved in the care of parents following a perinatal loss are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access