Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

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Volume 65 Issue 4 (December 1992), Pages 305-399

Psychodynamic aspects of delayed abortion decisions (pages 333-345)

Multiple regression analysis of a wide range of variables for a sample of 58 women obtaining elective abortion identified psychodynamic factors as the only statistically significant explanations for seeking abortion at later gestational ages. Delay among these women was associated with greater disturbance in the basic sense of self as noted in indications of gender/sexual conflict on their drawings of a human figure, and lower achievement orientation (‘striving’) as expressed by lower levels of striving attributed to parents or other primary (early) caretakers. These findings are discussed as an active taking charge of an unintended pregnancy for women who present early for abortion; for those who delay, attempts to affirm a deficient feminine identification and/or reunite psychologically with the early caretaker are discussed as underlying dynamics.

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