How couples cope with the death of a twin or higher order multiple

P.B. Swanson, R.T. Kane, J.G. Pearsall-Jones, C.F. Swanson, Maxine Croft

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    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Fifty-two Australian couples who had experienced the death of at least one member of a multiple birth (twin or higher order), with at least one survivor of that birth, were interviewed about their experiences at the time of the death, and since. This study compared parents' coping after the twins' deaths using the Beck Depression Inventory II, Perinatal Grief Scale, and unstructured interviews with some structured queries. Parents provided information on the influence of family, community and medical staff. According to retrospective reports, mothers experienced significantly more depression and grief than fathers at the time of loss. Both parents found the death of their twins grievous, but fathers, unlike mothers, were not encouraged to express their emotions. Although parents generally agreed about what helped them cope, fathers believed that they should be able to cope regardless of their grief. The strength of parents' spiritual beliefs had increased significantly since their loss, and there was some evidence that depressed and grieving mothers turned to spiritual support. Parents whose children died earlier reported levels of depression similar to those reported by parents whose children died later. To date, this is the largest study of grief in couples who have experienced the death of a twin and who have a surviving twin or higher order multiple.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)392-402
    JournalTwin Research and Human Genetics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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