Relationship Between Response To Stress & Meaning Making And The Effects On Grief After Child Death

Title

Relationship Between Response To Stress & Meaning Making And The Effects On Grief After Child Death

Creator

Suttle M; Gerhardt C; Fults M; Shultz E

Publisher

Critical Care Medicine

Date

2016

Subject

General & Internal Medicine

Description

Learning Objectives: Parents that experience the death of a child are at high risk for complicated grief, which may be related to unsuccessful attempts to find meaning in their loss. Responses to stress include involuntary reactions that reflect temperament or conditioned responses (intrusive thoughts, emotional numbness), as well as coping which refers to responses that are voluntary and involve conscious effort (problem solving, cognitive restructuring). A parent’s ability to find meaning in their child’s death may be influenced by their reaction to stress & coping. In this study we explored the relationship between a bereaved parent’s response to stress and their ability to make meaning of their child’s death. We hypothesized that parents with more meaning making would have less complicated grief. Methods: This was a prospective survey study of bereaved parents whose children died in the PICU & CICU at Nationwide Children’s Hospital from 2012 to 2014. Parents were enrolled 6 months after their child’s death and completed measured that assessed demographics, response to stress (RSQ), prolonged grief (PG-13), grief reactions (Hogan GRC), and meaning making (ISLES). Results: The sample consisted of 26 parents of 17 children. More meaning making was seen amongst parents that demonstrated higher levels of voluntary primary (r=.452, p=.023) & secondary control coping (r=.620, p=.002). Parents with higher levels of involuntary stress response demonstrated lower levels of meaning making (engagement r=-.558, p=.004; disengagement r=-.687, p=<.001). Bereaved parents with higher levels of meaning making demonstrated less symptoms of prolonged grief (r=-.548, p=.005) and less negative reaction to grief (despair r=-.739, p=<.001; panic r=-.612, p=.001; blame/anger r=-.565, p=.003; detachment r=-.653, p=<.001; disorganization r=-.664, p=<.001). Conclusions: Bereaved parents with higher levels of meaning making show less overall symptoms of prolonged grief and less negative reactions to grief. This may be related to higher levels of voluntary coping; whereas higher levels of involuntary response to stress may be detrimental.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

February 2017 List

Citation

Suttle M; Gerhardt C; Fults M; Shultz E, “Relationship Between Response To Stress & Meaning Making And The Effects On Grief After Child Death,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed October 23, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/10748.

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