Exploring the psychometric validity and reliability of the Stillbirth Stigma Scale

Danielle Pollock, Adrian Esterman, Elissa Pearson, Megan Cooper, Tahereh Ziaian, Jane Warland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: In 2011 and 2016, the Lancet Stillbirth Series released a call for action to identify mechanisms which could lead to a reduction in stillbirth stigma. Despite this repeated call, stillbirth stigma remains a relatively unexplored area. This research is answering that call by providing further psychometric assessment on the recently developed 20-item Stillbirth Stigma Scale. Methods: Bereaved parents (n=1015) from high-income countries (Australia, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), New Zealand and Canada) who have endured a stillbirth were surveyed. A confirmatory factor analysis was undertaken, to confirm the factor structure. Reliability analysis and convergent validity were conducted to further determine the reliability and validity of the scale. Ethics: This study was approved on 5 December 2016 by the University of South Australia Human Research Ethics Committee, protocol number 0000036017. Results: Based on the initial findings of the exploratory factor analysis, 20 items contained within four factors (Perceived Devaluation, Discrimination, Self-stigma and Disclosure) were entered into the confirmatory factor analysis. Results supported a four-factor structure of the Stillbirth Stigma Scale and goodness of fit measurements were satisfactory. Internal consistencies of each sub-scale, and the total scale were good (α =.89). Convergent validity was also established with other related measures (Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale). Conclusion: Analysis suggests the Stillbirth Stigma Scale is a theoretical and statistically sound scale, which can be used within health promotion and clinical settings to identify bereaved parents at risk of experiencing higher levels of stillbirth stigma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalEvidence Based Midwifery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • scale development
  • stigma
  • stillbirth
  • perinatal health
  • methodology
  • psychology
  • health
  • midwifery
  • Methodology
  • Health
  • Stigma
  • Psychology
  • Stillbirth
  • Midwifery
  • Perinatal health
  • Scale development


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