216879 Measuring Abortion Stigma

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 12:30 PM - 12:50 PM

Kate Cockrill, MPH , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Diana Greene Foster, PhD , Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, Department of Ob/Gyn, University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA
Janet Molzan Turan, PhD, MPH , Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Introduction: There is no agreed upon definition of abortion stigma and no standard tool to measure the phenomenon. We aim to define abortion stigma and develop and validate a scale to measure abortion stigma among US women who have had an abortion.

Methods: This research has four phases: 1. Tool Development- Compile a comprehensive list of questions measuring various dimensions of abortion stigma. 2. Cognitive interviews- Conduct in-person interviews with 20 women to examine their response formulation. 3. Testing and internal validation- Conduct factor analysis on responses to the revised scale to define the minimum comprehensive set of items. 4. External Validation- Validate the final scale within our larger Turnaway Study to assess the relationship between abortion stigma and women's wellbeing.

Results: Based on our extensive review of the academic and programmatic literature on abortion and health-related stigmas, we defined abortion stigma as a negative label applied to a woman who has had an abortion which marks her as tainted or inferior to the ideals of womanhood. We found that abortion stigma occupies the following domains: anticipated stigma, perception of community norms, experienced stigma, internalized stigma, and stigma management. Drawing upon theory we are developing, refining and validating a scale to measure each domain of abortion stigma. We will report on Phases 1-3 of our study.

Conclusion: Abortion stigma may affect women's well-being. A validated abortion stigma scale can reveal how coping after an abortion is affected by stigma and identify women in need of social support.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
• Discuss theory related to concealable stigmas • Describe methods for designing and validating a psychometric tool • Understand the domains of abortion stigma • Explore the relationship between abortion stigma and women’s wellbeing

Keywords: Abortion, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a social scientist studying abortion and stigma. I have a Master's Degree in Public Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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