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Title: Bereaved older parents' experiences of losing an adult child to illness : pluralist, qualitative, case study analyses
Author: Gregory, Michelle
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2012
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The loss of a child has the potential to be one of the most devastating events that a parent can go through because it represents an inversion of the natural order for a parent to outlive their child. Older parental bereavement is an under-studied phenomenon and the current research attempted to address this by using an in-depth case study design. This study investigated bereavement experiences of three older bereaved parents after the death of an adult child through illness. The data were analysed using a qualitative pluralist paradigm and u~ed three methods: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), Narrative Analysis and Discourse Analysis. The findings indicated that the influence of age in older parental bereavement is variable and alluded to the presence of ageist discourses. The results also highlighted the interpersonal difficulties of talking about the death of their adult child, including to family members and grief counsellors. Furthermore, the role of self-reflection, religion and agency as protective factors in bereavement were identified. The clinical implications of .~he current findings are explored as well as the limitations of the study are discussed as well as potential directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psychol.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available