Journal Article

Identity Development and Grieving: The Evolving Processes for Parentally Bereaved Women

Cheryl-Anne Cait

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 38, issue 2, pages 322-339
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online November 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcl347
Identity Development and Grieving: The Evolving Processes for Parentally Bereaved Women

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This paper is a report of the findings from a qualitative research study that explored how the death of a parent influences female adolescents, with particular focus on women’s evolving identity development. A sample of eighteen women was recruited for the study. Findings highlight that constructing a relationship to the deceased, shifting family dynamics and the ebb and flow of grieving influenced identity development. The women’s development allowed them to more fully recognize their parent’s subjectivity and, in turn, allowed them to see more aspects of themselves. The active process of ‘re-membering’ (Myerhoff, 1982) the deceased through a variety of activities contributed to identity development. Implications for social work practice will be discussed.

Keywords: adolescence; death; identity development; grieving process

Journal Article.  7967 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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