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A Portfolio of Academic, Therapeutic Practice and Research Work Including an Investigation of the Implications of Losing a Child to Suicide for Maternal Identity: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

Thrift, Olivia. (2005) A Portfolio of Academic, Therapeutic Practice and Research Work Including an Investigation of the Implications of Losing a Child to Suicide for Maternal Identity: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

There has been an absence of research into identity issues associated with mothers who have lost a child through suicide. This paper attempts to bridge this gap by reporting findings from a qualitative study of six mothers who lost one child and one mother who lost two children, over the age of sixteen, to suicide. Participants were interviewed about important components of their maternal identity, the psychological and social implications of losing their child to suicide and strategies for managing the difficulties associated with this. The use of interpretative phenomenological analysis provided insight into and understanding of the participants’ accounts. Much of the data could be readily interpreted in terms of identity dynamics, including identity threat. Participants consistently reported feelings of failure, stigmatization and negative distinctiveness. Various strategies were reportedly used by participants to manage identity threat. These included trying to find an explanation for the suicide that did not implicate themselves as a potential cause and joining groups with others bereaved by suicide. From the insights gained, recommendations are offered for psychological interventions which might help mothers who have lost a child through suicide to manage identity threat. 

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Thrift, Olivia.
Date : 2005
Additional Information : Thesis (Psych.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 2005.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 14 May 2020 14:56
Last Modified : 14 May 2020 15:02
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/856721

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