Title

Making Meaning of a Grandparent Death: A Qualitative Dyadic Study

Date

5-26-2016 11:00 AM

End Time

26-5-2016 11:15 AM

Location

WUC Santiam Room

Department

Behavioral Sciences

Session Chair

Jaime M. Cloud

Session Title

Behavioral Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Margaret Manoogian

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The death of a grandparent reverberates across families. This dyadic qualitative study sought to understand the grief experiences surrounding the death of a grandparent from two family perspectives: the young adult grandchildren (AG) and their mothers (M). After receiving IRB approval, eight college students and their mothers were interviewed separately to investigate how the grandparent and parent relationship, and broader family relationships, have been influenced by this death. Preliminary results suggest: a) grandparent death was felt deeply by both M and AG, with different outcomes; b) grandparent death provided opportunities for AG and M to renegotiate their relationships and boundaries; c) for the AG, grandparent death motivated personal change and recognition of parental grief and coping styles. For many AG participants, recognition of parental vulnerabilities and need for support emerged; d) for mothers, grieving the death occurred concurrently with desire to support AG grief. Participants experienced shifts in personal identity indicative of their developmental status. Study findings help inform our understanding of intergenerational grief.

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May 26th, 11:00 AM May 26th, 11:15 AM

Making Meaning of a Grandparent Death: A Qualitative Dyadic Study

WUC Santiam Room

The death of a grandparent reverberates across families. This dyadic qualitative study sought to understand the grief experiences surrounding the death of a grandparent from two family perspectives: the young adult grandchildren (AG) and their mothers (M). After receiving IRB approval, eight college students and their mothers were interviewed separately to investigate how the grandparent and parent relationship, and broader family relationships, have been influenced by this death. Preliminary results suggest: a) grandparent death was felt deeply by both M and AG, with different outcomes; b) grandparent death provided opportunities for AG and M to renegotiate their relationships and boundaries; c) for the AG, grandparent death motivated personal change and recognition of parental grief and coping styles. For many AG participants, recognition of parental vulnerabilities and need for support emerged; d) for mothers, grieving the death occurred concurrently with desire to support AG grief. Participants experienced shifts in personal identity indicative of their developmental status. Study findings help inform our understanding of intergenerational grief.