Maternal Grief: A Qualitative Investigation of Mothers' Responses to the Death of a Child From Cancer

Title

Maternal Grief: A Qualitative Investigation of Mothers' Responses to the Death of a Child From Cancer

Creator

Gerrish N J; Bailey S

Publisher

Omega: Journal of Death & Dying

Date

2020

Subject

Female; Adaptation; Psychological; Attitude to Death; Bereavement; Self Concept; Social Environment; Interviews; Human; Phenomenological Research; Qualitative Studies; Coping; Grief; Complicated Grief; Childhood Neoplasms – Mortality; Mothers – Psychosocial Factors

Description

This study explored bereaved mothers' responses to the death of a child from cancer, with a focus on identifying adaptive and complicated grief reactions. To understand the unique meaning of their loss, in-depth interviews were conducted with 13 mothers at two time points. Interpretative phenomenological analysis—guided by meaning-making theories of loss—revealed five master categories: the perceptions of the child's life with cancer and death from the disease, changed self-identity, coping style, developing an ongoing relationship to the deceased child, and the postdeath social environment. Each of these master categories and associated subthemes provided insights into the characteristics of the bereaved mothers' adaptive and complicated grief responses to their loss. Given all the mothers evidenced multiple forms or types of these responses over time, they could not be categorized as adaptive or complicated grievers. However, the varying proportions of each of these responses highlighted differences in overall bereavement adaptation.

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

Oncology 2020 List

Collection

Citation

Gerrish N J; Bailey S, “Maternal Grief: A Qualitative Investigation of Mothers' Responses to the Death of a Child From Cancer,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed July 25, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/17370.

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