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Existential Experiences and Strategies in Relation to Induced Abortion: an Interview Study With 24 Swedish Women
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala Religion and Society Research Centre.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2011 (English)In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion/ Archiv für Religionspsychologie, ISSN 0084-6724, E-ISSN 1573-6121, Vol. 33, no 3, 345-370 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Induced abortion is as common in religious as secular cultures, but interpretations and ways to handle abortion differ. This study focuses existential aspects of abortion, in relation to a secularized context, through in-depth interviews with 24 Swedish women. Existential questions belonging to four areas were found: Life and Death, Meaning of Life, Morality and Self Image. Furthermore, four different existential strategies were found: (1) Detaching Strategies (creating distance to the pregnancy), (2) Meaning-Making Strategies (relating the abortion to one’s worldview), (3) Social Strategies (sharing the abortion with others), and (4) Symbolic Strategies (expressing the experience in bodily ways). Existential questions and strategies did not imply that the woman regretted her abortion. However, while some women easily processed existential questions, others seemed to be more at loss. In a secularized country, where many people are unaccustomed to deal with existential issues, greater existential competence among abortion personnel thus might be needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 33, no 3, 345-370 p.
Keyword [en]
abortion, existential questions, meaning-making, secularity, Sweden, worldview, worldview typology
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-159165DOI: 10.1163/157361211X594177ISI: 000297798900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-159165DiVA: diva2:443055
Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2011-09-23 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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Liljas Stålhandske, MariaEkstrand, MariaTydén, Tanja
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Citation style
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