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Title: The reconciliation of traumatic war memories throughout the adult lifespan : the relationship between narrative coherence and social support
Author: Burnell, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3510 3091
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2007
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The research described in this thesis investigated the relationship between perceptions of social support and the narrative coherence of traumatic war memories. The aim was to understand the way in which social support impacts on the process of reconciliation of war memories, with implications for provision of therapy to currently and formerly serving veterans. In order to provide a lifespan perspective, war veterans from the Second World (WWII), Korean War, Falklands War, Gulf War and Britain’s ‘Small’ Wars participated in semi structured one-to-one interviews based on perceptions of social support (comradeship, family support, and societal support), media representation of war, and commemoration. Analysis of narrative content was based on the perceptions of social support, and the subsequent analysis of narrative form explored the coherence of war memories as an indication of reconciliation. Coherence was operationalised as the presence of orientation and storied structure, consistency in affect, and uniting theme(s) running through the narrative. Data from the Imperial War Museum was used to provide triangulation of the social support themes, and was analysed using thematic analysis. Archival data from the Mass Observation Archive was also consulted to corroborate the findings from the interview data, providing a deeper understanding of the role of societal support using thematic analysis. In addition, a questionnaire study was conducted to probe perceptions of media representation and perceptions towards veterans. Findings suggest that veterans can reconcile their memories earlier in life, and that communicating with family members within a supportive society may aid reconciliation. This has implications for future interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Health Sciences ; Psychology