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January 1973

Follow-Up After Therapeutic Abortion in Early Adolescence

Author Affiliations

From the Child Psychiatry Division, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(1):120-126. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750310096016

Follow-up study of 41 girls in early adolescence was carried out six months after therapeutic abortion. Racially mixed sample ranged over wide spectrum of socioeconomic classes.

Findings revealed feelings of guilt, depression, and anger, but intensity and duration of feelings was confined mostly to immediate postoperative period. Most favorable outcome occurred when patient had made decision and parents, caretaking personnel, and society showed helping attitude rather than a critical and punitive one. patients were able to function in school and society and experienced crisis and operation as an event helpful in their "growing up" process. Tentative hypotheses of three personality patterns and suggestions of different preventive approaches for each are made.

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