Parental accounts of a child's death : influences on parental identity and behavior Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h415pf117

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  • One of the most powerful and life-changing events that can occur in the life of a family is the death of a child. Researchers who have studied death and bereavement suggest that a child's death has a dramatic impact on parents. However, little is known about the ways in which child loss influences a parent's sense of identity and subsequent parental behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore how the life event of having a child die affects parents in their sense of identity and behavior as a mother or father. It was also to search for common patterns and themes in parental accounts of a child's death that provide a better understanding of this topic. Individual mothers and fathers were interviewed and asked about their experience in losing a child, and how this experience shaped their feelings of identity and parental behavior in relation to both the deceased child and their other children. Nineteen mothers and fathers who had children die as a result of accidental causes or illness were interviewed. Interview transcripts were qualitatively analyzed for content. Findings were broken into four primary categories: (a) parental experience in the context of loss; (b) impact of a child's death on parental identity; (c) parental behavior in relation to the deceased child; and (d) parental behavior in relation to surviving children. The findings provided support to the idea that a child's death has a significant impact on parental identity and a parent's subsequent behavior. The findings demonstrated that how a child dies is a critical factor in how parents experience the loss. The findings related to parental identity show that parents struggle with their sense of competence, mourn the lost parent-child bond, and feel a loss of parental hopes for the future. The findings about parental behavior in relation to the deceased child suggest that connecting with and remembering the child in diverse ways are fundamental aspects of parental behavior after a child's death. The findings also show that a child's death shapes surviving parent-child relationships as parents mediate the loss experience for children, become more protective, and increase their parental efforts in behalf of children.
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  • File scanned at 300 ppi (Monochrome) using ScandAll PRO 1.8.1 on a Fi-6670 in PDF format. CVista PdfCompressor 4.0 was used for pdf compression and textual OCR.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-04-10T20:32:54Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 BrothersonSeanE2000.pdf: 2019475 bytes, checksum: fb2a0fb3b5fcbba3753f5d382f7cec50 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Patricia Black(patricia.black@oregonstate.edu) on 2012-04-10T20:35:03Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 BrothersonSeanE2000.pdf: 2019475 bytes, checksum: fb2a0fb3b5fcbba3753f5d382f7cec50 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Submitted by Kaylee Patterson (patterka@onid.orst.edu) on 2012-04-10T20:16:24Z No. of bitstreams: 1 BrothersonSeanE2000.pdf: 2019475 bytes, checksum: fb2a0fb3b5fcbba3753f5d382f7cec50 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2012-04-10T20:35:03Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 BrothersonSeanE2000.pdf: 2019475 bytes, checksum: fb2a0fb3b5fcbba3753f5d382f7cec50 (MD5) Previous issue date: 1999-11-30

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