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postgraduate thesis: Grief experience of bereaved mothers who loss of children in Sichuan earthquake 2008

TitleGrief experience of bereaved mothers who loss of children in Sichuan earthquake 2008
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Sha, W. [沙卫]. (2014). Grief experience of bereaved mothers who loss of children in Sichuan earthquake 2008. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317023
AbstractBereavement, an unavoidable event in everyone’s life, brings endless missing, grief, and suffering to people. Among all kinds of bereavement, losing a child is considered the most sorrowful and traumatizing. It is extremely difficult for parents who lose a child to recover from their deepest pain. On May 12, 2008, an earthquake, measuring 8.0 Ms, occurred in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, China. The earthquake killed more than 70,000 people and left about 20,000 missing. During the earthquake, some school buildings collapsed and as a result, hundreds of students died. Their parents experienced overwhelming bereavement. To understand what bereaved mothers experience and how they cope with bereavement after the loss of children, the author conducted this longitudinal study based on the dual process model of coping with bereavement (DPM), and applied qualitative inquiry using interpretative phenomenological analysis. In this study, the author has reported on her 4 waves of interviews with these parents, regarding how they coped with grief over 2 years. The author conducted 4 waves of in-depth, face-to-face interviews with mothers who lost their children during the Wenchuan earthquake (N= 43). The findings reveal that three levels of stresses exist in these bereaved mothers’ (BMs) grief experiences, including individual, family, and society levels. On the individual level, they experienced not only emotional distress, such as overwhelming grief, despair, and anger, but they also experienced cognitive distresses, such as regret, guilt, meaninglessness and hopelessness. On the family level, BMs experienced various stresses, such as family incompleteness, despair of their family life, and tensions with their spouses. On the society level, these BMs experienced pressure from social expectations and public opinion. They felt segregated and detached from their social networks. Life became meaningless to these BMs, resulting in suicidal thoughts. These BMs practiced a variety of coping strategies to deal with their endless grief and stresses in their daily lives. These BMs actively worked through their grief and negative emotions. They adjusted their cognition to deal with their children’s deaths, and made efforts to reconstruct their lives; through things like having another child, rebuilding their life purpose, and rebuilding relationships with others. Avoidance strategies included proactive avoidance and reactive avoidance coping. Respite was manifested in the BMs temporarily devoting themselves to other things in order to distract themselves from tremendous bereavement. This study verifies and enriches the DPM in the Chinese socio-cultural context, while indicating suggestions for social work practice and social policy.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectGrief in women - China - Wenchuan Xian (Sichuan Sheng)
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206428

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorTse, SSK-
dc.contributor.advisorChan, CLW-
dc.contributor.authorSha, Wei-
dc.contributor.author沙卫-
dc.date.accessioned2014-10-31T23:15:52Z-
dc.date.available2014-10-31T23:15:52Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationSha, W. [沙卫]. (2014). Grief experience of bereaved mothers who loss of children in Sichuan earthquake 2008. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5317023-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/206428-
dc.description.abstractBereavement, an unavoidable event in everyone’s life, brings endless missing, grief, and suffering to people. Among all kinds of bereavement, losing a child is considered the most sorrowful and traumatizing. It is extremely difficult for parents who lose a child to recover from their deepest pain. On May 12, 2008, an earthquake, measuring 8.0 Ms, occurred in Wenchuan, Sichuan province, China. The earthquake killed more than 70,000 people and left about 20,000 missing. During the earthquake, some school buildings collapsed and as a result, hundreds of students died. Their parents experienced overwhelming bereavement. To understand what bereaved mothers experience and how they cope with bereavement after the loss of children, the author conducted this longitudinal study based on the dual process model of coping with bereavement (DPM), and applied qualitative inquiry using interpretative phenomenological analysis. In this study, the author has reported on her 4 waves of interviews with these parents, regarding how they coped with grief over 2 years. The author conducted 4 waves of in-depth, face-to-face interviews with mothers who lost their children during the Wenchuan earthquake (N= 43). The findings reveal that three levels of stresses exist in these bereaved mothers’ (BMs) grief experiences, including individual, family, and society levels. On the individual level, they experienced not only emotional distress, such as overwhelming grief, despair, and anger, but they also experienced cognitive distresses, such as regret, guilt, meaninglessness and hopelessness. On the family level, BMs experienced various stresses, such as family incompleteness, despair of their family life, and tensions with their spouses. On the society level, these BMs experienced pressure from social expectations and public opinion. They felt segregated and detached from their social networks. Life became meaningless to these BMs, resulting in suicidal thoughts. These BMs practiced a variety of coping strategies to deal with their endless grief and stresses in their daily lives. These BMs actively worked through their grief and negative emotions. They adjusted their cognition to deal with their children’s deaths, and made efforts to reconstruct their lives; through things like having another child, rebuilding their life purpose, and rebuilding relationships with others. Avoidance strategies included proactive avoidance and reactive avoidance coping. Respite was manifested in the BMs temporarily devoting themselves to other things in order to distract themselves from tremendous bereavement. This study verifies and enriches the DPM in the Chinese socio-cultural context, while indicating suggestions for social work practice and social policy.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshGrief in women - China - Wenchuan Xian (Sichuan Sheng)-
dc.titleGrief experience of bereaved mothers who loss of children in Sichuan earthquake 2008-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5317023-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5317023-

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