The process of bereavement for Mexican-American widows: A grounded theory approach.
AuthorPortillo, Carmen Julieta.
KeywordsBereavement -- Psychological aspects
Sociology, Theory and Methods
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Hispanic American women -- Psychology
Women -- Psychology.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to generate substantive theory on the bereavement process. A qualitative research design, grounded theory, was used to analyze the experience of bereavement for Mexican American widows. Research questions addressed were: What is the process of bereavement for Mexican American widows? What factors are associated with the bereavement process for Mexican American widows? Theory discovery was accomplished using the grounded theory methodology. Interviews were conducted with nineteen Mexican American widows who had been bereaved for approximately 18 months. Theoretical sampling involved the use of interviews and observations triangulated with scientific and popular literature. The constant comparative method of analytic induction was used for the analysis of data, in order to identify the elements and structure of the theory. A basic social process, Reorganizing a New Me, was identified as the core category of the theory. Reorganizing a New Me is the continuous process used by Mexican American widows in order to adjust and adapt to widowhood. The process includes four subcategories: (a) Feeling the Void is defined as the efforts of monitoring or becoming aware of the loss and highlighted the uncertainty that accompanied the experience, (b) My Mind and Body explains the Mexican American widow's work of resolving her grief in the form of culturally sanctioned idioms and emotional expressions, (c) Confronting the Paradox is defined as the centralization of the thoughts, feelings, and perceptions that represented the concerns and compensations of being a widow, and (d) Tempering explains the work of adapting to the process of becoming a widow. Coping strategies that Mexican American widows utilized during this process were also identified. The significance of the study for nursing is that it (a) sensitizes nurses and other health professionals to the bereavement process and coping strategies for Mexican American widows, (b) provides a map which can guide the assessment of the bereaved Mexican American widow, and (c) identifies a substantive theory on the bereavement process, which, through further study, can be raised to a formal theory on this transitional phase for women.