Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Lisa S. Sosin
Ambivalent Marriage, Bereavement, Coping, Grief, Widow
Counseling | Counselor Education
Schmitz, Rachel, "Til Death Do Us Part: A 10-case Study of Widow Grief Following an Ambivalent Marriage" (2016). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1148.
Using a case study method, the researcher analyzed the coping skills of 10 recently bereaved widows who experienced ambivalent marriages and how they used those learned adaptive coping skills to process loss. The multicase study provided the methodological framework for qualitative inquiry using interpretive phenomenological analysis based on journal entries and brief interviews recorded prior to the death of the spouse and semistructured interviews that took place 4-18 weeks following the spouse’s death. The subject of the inquiry was the grief experience of 10 widows, and the object of the study was coping theory. Participants demonstrated cognitive adaptation, problem-focused coping, and restoration orientation as premorbid coping skills, and they used cognitive adaptation, positive reappraisal, and restoration orientation as postmorbid coping skills. This study shows benefit for both the academician and the clinician.