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Towards meaning reconstruction: a Caribbean study of the meanings that adolescents attach to bereavement

Nakhid-Chatoor, Margaret (2017) Towards meaning reconstruction: a Caribbean study of the meanings that adolescents attach to bereavement. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Final Submission June, 2017 -The University of Sheffield - Submission of the Dissertation. Ed.D - (Caribbean).docx
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Although there is a considerable body of knowledge regarding adolescent grief, few researchers have focused on the factors and developmental characteristics of adolescents that influence their perceptions and experiences of parental death, and the meanings which they attach to these experiences within schools. Adolescents who suffer the loss of a parent often present with trauma-related symptoms of emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties, and classroom teachers are ill-equipped to deal with these difficulties. In this study, which is conducted primarily in Trinidad and Tobago and to a lesser extent in New York, USA, 24 adolescents are interviewed as part of focus group discussions and semi-structured interviews. Secondary data are gleaned through family and expert interviews. Discussions reveal that school performance is impaired and school and familial relations are strained during bereavement. Contrary to some research, peer relationships remain intact and are a buffer to the adolescents. A grounded theory analysis of the narratives of the adolescents, indicate that grief and loss are largely misunderstood by educators who continue to be influenced by post-colonial mentalities of schooling, and who penalize and devalue the adolescent’s grief responses to some extent, within Caribbean schools. Findings conclude that the patriarchal nature of the home and school leads to internalized oppression, creating a ‘culture of silence’ among adolescents who ‘mask’ their grief. It is the hope that policy-makers and educators will depart from the language of ‘sickness’ in describing grief and loss in the bereavement process, and instead turn to a model of grief as a normative life-cycle event. Keywords: parental death; grief; adolescent bereavement; grounded theory

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.718832
Depositing User: Dr. Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2017 10:57
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:41
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/17731

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