2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/163618
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Grief narratives of women in prison following the death of a significant person
Author(s):
Ferszt, Ginette
Author Details:
Ginette Ferszt, Lecturer, University of Rhode Island, College of Nursing, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA, email: ggf@uri.edu
Abstract:
One of the most important issues that an individual confronts during one's life is the death of a significant person. Given the contextual nature of grief, incarcerated women are faced with unique challenges when the death of a significant person occurs during their imprisonment. Yet, little is known about grief experiences under these circumstances. The research questions guiding this qualitative study were: What are the meanings of the grief experience of incarcerated women? How does their grieving process compare with images of grief depicted as a normal process? To what extent do the women perceive incarceration influencing their grief? An interpretive perspective combined with in-depth qualitative interviews was used to examine the grief experience of three women from different ethnic backgrounds, in a medium security prison in New England. In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the meanings of the grief experience, Kvale's (1983, 1996) approach to the interpretation of interviews was used. In addition, narratives extrapolated from the interviews were analyzed using Gee's (1985, 1986, 1991) and Riesssman's (1993) approach to narrative analysis. For all three women two events (the delivery of the news and going to the funeral home) were particularly stressful. All three women exhibited an acute grief response which could be expected given the nature of their relationship with their loved ones. However, their grief was 'suspended'. The women were unable to express their grief, participate in important public rituals, and access resources to support their coping. The context of the prison complicated the grieving process resulting in disenfranchised grief. This finding raises critical questions regarding possible complicated bereavement, which can further impact the adjustment to the multiple challenges that women confront when they are released from prison. The results of this study have shed light on the implications of disenfranchised grief. The findings support the need for future research in several areas. Many women who are incarcerated have a history of mental health problems. Therefore, the question as to whether their grief experience would have been different if they were not incarcerated at the time of the death of their loved one is a consideration. Longitudinal studies that continue to examine the grief experience of incarcerated women at 6 months and 1 year after release from prison will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of their grief experience over time. Given the limited number of women interviewed in this study, further exploration of the grief experience of women in prison is recommended. A broader collection of narratives is needed to achieve an understanding of the range of human experience. In addition, studies that explore grief related to significant losses other than death will contribute to the knowledge that is severely lacking. The number of women in local, state and federal correctional facilities continues to rise every year. As a result, it is likely that more nurses will be in a position of providing care to this vulnerable population in hospitals, home care, community settings, primary care, private practices, and in prison. The personal accounts provided by these three women are valuable tools for nursing students and practicing nurses in developing a broader appreciation of their mental health needs. This study also has policy and educational implications for the criminal justice system. The importance of having a family member or counselor present at the time that news of the death of a loved one is given must be underscored. The need for a policy allowing for a support person to accompany an inmate to the funeral home must be examined. The humiliation and emotional pain captured in these three accounts begs for a change in policy that humanizes this heart wrenching experience. It is imperative that correctional authorities develop support systems to help women cope with grief during imprisonment and in their follow up care.
Repository Posting Date:
27-Oct-2011
Date of Publication:
27-Oct-2011
Conference Date:
2002
Conference Name:
14th Annual Scientific Sessions
Conference Host:
Eastern Nursing Research Society
Conference Location:
University Park, Pennsylvania, USA
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_US
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleGrief narratives of women in prison following the death of a significant personen_GB
dc.contributor.authorFerszt, Ginetteen_US
dc.author.detailsGinette Ferszt, Lecturer, University of Rhode Island, College of Nursing, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA, email: ggf@uri.eduen_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/163618-
dc.description.abstractOne of the most important issues that an individual confronts during one's life is the death of a significant person. Given the contextual nature of grief, incarcerated women are faced with unique challenges when the death of a significant person occurs during their imprisonment. Yet, little is known about grief experiences under these circumstances. The research questions guiding this qualitative study were: What are the meanings of the grief experience of incarcerated women? How does their grieving process compare with images of grief depicted as a normal process? To what extent do the women perceive incarceration influencing their grief? An interpretive perspective combined with in-depth qualitative interviews was used to examine the grief experience of three women from different ethnic backgrounds, in a medium security prison in New England. In order to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the meanings of the grief experience, Kvale's (1983, 1996) approach to the interpretation of interviews was used. In addition, narratives extrapolated from the interviews were analyzed using Gee's (1985, 1986, 1991) and Riesssman's (1993) approach to narrative analysis. For all three women two events (the delivery of the news and going to the funeral home) were particularly stressful. All three women exhibited an acute grief response which could be expected given the nature of their relationship with their loved ones. However, their grief was 'suspended'. The women were unable to express their grief, participate in important public rituals, and access resources to support their coping. The context of the prison complicated the grieving process resulting in disenfranchised grief. This finding raises critical questions regarding possible complicated bereavement, which can further impact the adjustment to the multiple challenges that women confront when they are released from prison. The results of this study have shed light on the implications of disenfranchised grief. The findings support the need for future research in several areas. Many women who are incarcerated have a history of mental health problems. Therefore, the question as to whether their grief experience would have been different if they were not incarcerated at the time of the death of their loved one is a consideration. Longitudinal studies that continue to examine the grief experience of incarcerated women at 6 months and 1 year after release from prison will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of their grief experience over time. Given the limited number of women interviewed in this study, further exploration of the grief experience of women in prison is recommended. A broader collection of narratives is needed to achieve an understanding of the range of human experience. In addition, studies that explore grief related to significant losses other than death will contribute to the knowledge that is severely lacking. The number of women in local, state and federal correctional facilities continues to rise every year. As a result, it is likely that more nurses will be in a position of providing care to this vulnerable population in hospitals, home care, community settings, primary care, private practices, and in prison. The personal accounts provided by these three women are valuable tools for nursing students and practicing nurses in developing a broader appreciation of their mental health needs. This study also has policy and educational implications for the criminal justice system. The importance of having a family member or counselor present at the time that news of the death of a loved one is given must be underscored. The need for a policy allowing for a support person to accompany an inmate to the funeral home must be examined. The humiliation and emotional pain captured in these three accounts begs for a change in policy that humanizes this heart wrenching experience. It is imperative that correctional authorities develop support systems to help women cope with grief during imprisonment and in their follow up care.en_GB
dc.date.available2011-10-27T11:10:44Z-
dc.date.issued2011-10-27en_GB
dc.date.accessioned2011-10-27T11:10:44Z-
dc.conference.date2002en_US
dc.conference.name14th Annual Scientific Sessionsen_US
dc.conference.hostEastern Nursing Research Societyen_US
dc.conference.locationUniversity Park, Pennsylvania, USAen_US
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission. Alternatively, please contact the conference host, journal, or publisher (according to the circumstance) for further details regarding this item. If a citation is listed in this record, the item has been published and is available via open-access avenues or a journal/database subscription. Contact your library for assistance in obtaining the as-published article.-
All Items in this repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.