Bereavement Theory and Application

Topics: Grief, Qualitative research, Kübler-Ross model Pages: 11 (3292 words) Published: December 21, 2013

Bereavement Theory and Application
Lynnette L. Munoz
Walden University
Research Theory
Dr. Booker
January 12, 2013

Bereavement Theory and Application
Annotated Reference List
Arnold, J., Gemma, P., & Cushman, L. F. (2005, December). Exploring parental grief: Combining quantitative and qualitative measures. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 19(6), 245-255. Problem. The authors in this study noted a lack of empirical bereavement literature relative to parental bereavement, with specific reference to mixed method designs. Central Purpose. The authors sought to investigate parental grief utilizing a mixed method survey questionnaire (designed specifically for this study by the authors) consisting of demographic questions, quantitative questions, and qualitative (open ended) questions. Method. The sample (n = 74) consisted of nursing alumni from Columbia University-Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association, Inc. (1926-2000). Data was gathered via a self-administered survey instrument by mail consisting of 80 items: 17 demographic, 52 quantitative, and 11 qualitative items from participants who had lost a child: ages and causes of death varied. Age of the child at time of death ranged from 0 to 48 years; however, the mean age of child at death over 1 year of age was 22 years because 40% of the respondent’s children died younger than one year of age skewing the mean age disproportionately down. The average number of years since time of death was 24.4 years and the average age of parent at time of death was 42 years. Key findings. The majority of respondents indicated experiencing continuing grief, while a minority indicated their grief had ended (63.5% and 36.5%, respectively). However, although the minority reported their grief had ended, 81% of these parents indicated they had a continuing connection to the deceased child. Significant results include: ____________________-

Limitations. The authors noted several significant limitations of the study relating to “sample, time frame, and omitted questions” (p. 253). The small sample of respondents were obtained from the alumni of a single nursing institution presenting significant issues for generalizability. Additionally, the sample included respondents from several different generations necessarily reflecting different attitudes and values related to grief and bereavement, which were not addressed due to the pencil-and-paper survey methodology. Further, a significant portion of respondents indicated aspects of their grief experience had not been addressed, but which would merit future study. Rationale. This study is significant in establishing a continuing connection between bereaved parents and their lost children, whether the parents consider their grief ongoing or resolved, and in spite of the sample crossing several generational lines. Additionally, the study included both quantitative and qualitative data relative to loss of children from a variety of causes of death and of varying ages. This research provides theoretical support for the premises related to my potential research project. Arnold, J., & Gemma, P. B. (2008). The continuing process of parental grief. Death Studies, 32, 658-673. Problem. The authors state “parental grief on the death of a child is profound regardless of the years since death, the age of the child at the time of death, and the cause of the child’s death” (Arnold & Gemma, 2008, p. 659). The authors further identify gaps in bereavement literature relative to parental grief, age of deceased child at death, and contextual factors relating to the child’s death (causation and/or type of death). Central Purpose. This article represents an expanded analysis of qualitative data gathered in the initial study described hereinabove (Arnold, Gemma, & Gushman, 2005) identifying...

References: Arnold, J., & Gemma, P. B. (2008). The continuing process of parental grief. Death Studies, 32, 658-673.
Arnold, J., Gemma, P., & Cushman, L
Averill, J. R. (1968). Grief: Its nature and significance. Psychological Bulletin, 70(6), 721-748. Retrieved from
Barrera, M., D’Agostino, N
Breen, L. J., & O’Connor, M. (2007). The fundamental paradox in the grief literature: A critical reflection. Omega, 55(3), 199-218.
Breen, L
Davies, R. (2004). New understandings of parental grief: Literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46(5), 506-513.
Moules, N
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