Open Access Graduate Research Paper
The purpose of the paper was an exploration of the premise that a need exists in Black Hawk County for a support group for widowed persons. For this purpose, widowed person can be defined as anyone, male or female, who has lost a spouse through death. Bereavement can also be defined with sufficient precision to be useful~ that is, the state of having lost a loved one through death. As a cultural norm in our society, we tend to view the death of a close family member as a loss. In this case the loss brings with it a new societal role, that of a bereaved person. Within these roles, the accumulation of expectations, conflicts, and emotional investment (or even the lack thereof) may precipitate and exacerbate already existing mental health problems (Volkhart and Michael, 1957). Grief, on the other hand is more difficult to define as it cannot be observed as behavior, only inferred from both a given state (that of bereavement) and a given reaction pattern which may be only in part an expression of felt loss. Bereavement must include not only that grief experienced as sentimental longing for the loss of an object but move forward to the situational anxiety 1 2 characterizing role loss (self as spouse). Many persons get stuck in the sorrow of object loss and fail to progress to the solving of the situational problem (Feinberg et al., 1978).
Year of Submission
Master of Arts
Department of School Administration and Personnel Services
Robert T. Lembke
1 PDF file (58 leaves)
©1982 Virginia Kay Boeckmann
Boeckmann, Virginia Kay, "Descriptive study of the development of a support group for widowed persons" (1982). Graduate Research Papers. 2088.