Adaptation to bereavement of young widows with dependent children in Hong Kong

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Adaptation to bereavement of young widows with dependent children in Hong Kong

 

Author: Leung, Wai-yu Belinda
Title: Adaptation to bereavement of young widows with dependent children in Hong Kong
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1996
Subject: Bereavement
Widowhood -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Applied Social Studies
Pages: ii, 95 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1230712
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3521
Abstract: Spousal bereavement is a traumatic experience for young women with dependent children. A widow not only has to face the loss of her loved one but also has to face a disorganized situation and to bear a very heavy burden. Her usual mode of living is disrupted, her plans are altered and her views of herself and the world are invalidated. She has to go through a dark period of disorganized life overwhelmed with emotional distress and to make a lot of adjustments that take time and effort. A widow notably needs help and support. As a person cannot live in a vacuum, the process is influenced by culture norms and soical discourse. Understanding the unique needs and coping strategies of Chinese widows is deemed necessary before social service providers can provide appropriate help to them. The present study has adopted a qualitative in-depth interviewing approach to study the adaptation of five Chinese widows in Hong Kong who had dependent children at the time of bereavement. Three distinct tasks of widowhood adaptation are identified - developing an explanation, handling emotional distress and establishing new roles. Cultural factors have been taken into consideration throughout the process and the widows' coping strategies were identified. The present work also demonstrates that traditional cultural beliefs still play their role in providing persuasive explanations of the loss of the husband and that social norms and values in modern Hong Kong can aid the widows in settling emotional distress and in acquiring new roles. People's supportive attitude towards widows nowadays is also appreciated, encouraged, and advocated.

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