This study tested the hypothesis that bereavement through AIDS, a socially unaccepted cause of death, differs in certain ways from bereavement through socially accepted causes of death. The study compares the responses on a number of evaluative instruments of two groups of subjects.
The responses of 31 bereaved experimental subjects who loved and cared for a close relative with AIDS, were compared with those of 31 control subjects who were bereaved by socially accepted illnesses. Subject pairs were each matched for age, closeness to relative, and period of time between the death and the interview.
Information was obtained from a personal interview with each subject, during which a set of structured questionnaires was personally administered by the researcher. Areas investigated included demographic details, subject perceptions regarding social evaluative anxiety, attitude, health and health locus of control, relationship quality and changes, and ; grief quality.
A statistically significant difference between the groups was detected in the following areas: education level, perceptions of attitudes, care and support by various individuals and agencies, and the reason for them, relationship agreement and compatibility, separation anxiety, and health locus of control. Unexpected similarities were also noted, The finding of these differences, particularly in the area of perceived social support, suggests a possibly higher risk of complicated bereavement in those bereaved by socially unaccepted causes of death.
|Author||De Villiers JG|
|Degree Type||Masters degree|