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Title: Towards meaning reconstruction : a Caribbean study of the meanings that adolescents attach to bereavement
Author: Nakhid-Chatoor, Margaret
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 0887
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2017
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Although there is a considerable body of knowledge regarding adolescent grief, few researchers have focused on the factors and developmental characteristics of adolescents that influence their perceptions and experiences of parental death, and the meanings which they attach to these experiences within schools. Adolescents who suffer the loss of a parent often present with trauma-related symptoms of emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties, and classroom teachers are ill-equipped to deal with these difficulties. In this study, which is conducted primarily in Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent in New York, USA, 24 adolescents are interviewed as part of focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. Secondary data are gleaned through family and expert interviews. Discussions reveal that school performance is impaired and school and familial relations are strained during bereavement. Contrary to some research, peer relationships remain intact and are a buffer to the adolescents. A grounded theory analysis of the narratives of the adolescents, indicate that grief and loss are largely misunderstood by educators who continue to be influenced by post-colonial mentalities of schooling, and who penalize and devalue the adolescent’s grief responses to some extent, within Caribbean schools. Findings conclude that the patriarchal nature of the home and school leads to internalized oppression, creating a ‘culture of silence’ among adolescents who ‘mask’ their grief. It is the hope that policy-makers and educators will depart from the language of ‘sickness’ in describing grief and loss in the bereavement process, and instead turn to a model of grief as a normative life-cycle event.
Supervisor: Neckles, Themesa Y. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available