The study aims to determine the impact of an older adult family member’s death on members of the surviving family, particularly the impact of a parent’s death on surviving adult children. It also considers the impact of a grandparent’s death on surviving children and on the family as a whole and aims to provide treatment based on relevant theoretical & empirical literatures (Abeles; Victor & Delano-Wood, 2003).
The study seeks to test whether clinician interventions or treatment should depend on the developmental stage and gender of the survivor, the survivor’s relationship to the deceased, the type of death (e. g. natural causes or violent death) and cultural factors, as revealed by the results of the previous studies related to death and dying (Abeles; Victor & Delano-Wood, 2003). The hypotheses are clear but they are not testable especially that it’s difficult to create a control group for this study. The impact it could have to one participant may vary from another depending on their actual experience with grief and loss. The dependent and independent variables of the study were not also operationally defined. The design of the study is descriptive and correlational.
The respondents or participants are individuals who have had actual experience of grieving an older adult member’s death in the family. Since this is not an experimental type of study, no control group was used. The instruments and materials used were structured interviews and questionnaires. The respondents were randomly chosen according to their type of experience with grief or loss in relation to the study’s purpose. It made use of Pearson Correlation and Multiple Regression as statistical tools to evaluate the results.
The results of the study revealed that the grieving individuals, may not necessarily proceed through a predesignated series of stages but may rather use different ways of coping. The current study has discovered however, that identifiable tasks appear to facilitate the grieving process, which may be used to guide therapy (Abeles; Victor & Delano-Wood, 2003). The study was also able to identify that personal autonomy and healthy self reliance are very important predictors of how grief is handled by adults following parental death.
The researchers were also able to stress that bereavement should be thought of in context and not focus too much on the individual level, like what most of the previous studies do. Overall, it was found that family therapy, bereavement groups, and individual therapy are all feasible options to help families cope with their loss as (Abeles; Victor & Delano-Wood, 2003).. The first major result mentioned in the study was not expected by the author. Instead of going through predesignated stages in grieving, they have found that each individual may employ different coping mechanisms.
The other result that mentioned the importance of the personal autonomy and healthy self reliance as predictors were expected. The researchers are in fact, stressing the need to focus the treatment on such as the individual strives for adjustment (Abeles; Victor & Delano-Wood, 2003). The identified treatment methods were also expected as these were also revealed in the previous studies. Based on the study, one may not necessarily follow the predesignated stages because his or her coping styles may depend on the availability of support groups and the individuals relationship to the lost member.
In other words, the impact of a family member’s death is affected and influenced by one’s culture in dealing with the grieving process. This study cannot be generalized because it wasn’t conducted across cultures.. The researchers also acknowledged that part of the study’s limitations is it’s failure to consider the gender issues involved in the death of a family member and how this might relate to the received social and emotional support.
There is also a scarcity of literature examing the impact of grandparent’s death on children, thus it wasn’t dealt with that much in the study. Based on the results, the support that one gets and the quality of relationship he or she has with the family really plays a big role in coping with a member’s death. References Abeles, Norman, Tara L. Victor and Lisa Delano-Wood. (2003). The Impact of an Older Adult’s Deah on the Famil. Professional Psychology: Resarch and Practice, Vol. 85, p. 234-238.