An exploration of African American men's experience with perinatal loss



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The purpose of this study was to explore how African American men experience perinatal loss. As there is currently little to no research on how African American men address the emotional expressiveness, barriers they have faced, access or utilization to mental health services following a miscarriage, this study gathered the narrative of what was experienced. Using the integrative phenomenological framework, the African American men’s stories formed three central themes: the strong, silent African American man, family first-therapy second, and broken barriers. This explains how the respondents managed their grief independently; how their community (family and friends) were their initial line of defense following their partners’ miscarriage and therapy was considered if necessary; and finally, the barriers shed light to the notion of how the respondents turned to their partner following the miscarriage. The racial-ethnic and gender component is valuable as it challenges professionals to examine and provide appropriate attention to being informed about how to meet African American men’s needs with intention.



African American men, Perinatal loss, Miscarriage, Emotional expression, Grief, Mental health