School of Nursing
L. Kathleen Sekula
Parental Bereavement, Violent Death
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the process of parental bereavement following the violent death of a child. The death of a child is considered to be the most difficult death anyone can experience which can often result in changing lives forever. Grounded theory was used for this study in an attempt to define the primary concepts contained within the process of parental bereavement when parents lose a child to violent death. Interviews were conducted with 11 parents meeting inclusion criteria. Data collected from the interviews were analyzed using constant comparison and level coding to identify key concepts contained in the process and a framework that revealed the core category of bereavement for these parents as experiencing the process and seeking renewal.
The findings revealed a perspective of bereavement as a series of processes which influenced parental bereavement and included positive elements not identified in previous research. The study revealed that the identified categories of telling the story; making critical choices, seeking direction through faith, seeking justice, seeking support, relinquishing the child, and seeking ways of moving forward worked together to facilitate positive outcomes for this high risk and vulnerable population. Support, including family, friends, and religious beliefs, taking an active role in post death activities, and assimilating new roles were other influential elements contained in the process. The concepts that emerged from the data and the resulting framework provide another perspective that can facilitate assessment of parental bereavement behavior. The findings have significance for nursing practice as well as implications for nursing education and research.
Kuhn, S. (2008). The Process of Parental Bereavement Following the Violent Death of a Child (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/787