Adolescent suicidal behaviours : a phenomenological study of mothers' experiences

Torraville, Margaret Ann (2000) Adolescent suicidal behaviours : a phenomenological study of mothers' experiences. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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An adolescent exhibiting suicidal behaviours has a devastating impact on his or her mother, but unfortunately the mother's suffering is often a hidden dimension in the family. At present there is a considerable dearth of research into the maternal experience of living with a suicidal adolescent. -- The purpose of this phenomenological study is to describe and enhance the understanding of what life is like for mothers living with a suicidal adolescent. The participants included six mothers living with a suicidal adolescent. The data were collected by means of unstructured interviews. Thematic analysis utilizing van Manen's (1997) methodology, identified six themes: (1) failure as a good mother- "Where did I go wrong?" (2) the ultimate rejection- "Is dying more attractive then living with your mother?" (3) alone in the struggle- "You really have to live through it to know" (4) helplessness and powerlessness in the struggle- "It's out of my control" (5) cautious parenting- "It's like walking on eggshells" (6) keeping an emotional distance- "I won't get dependent on your company." The total picture of the mothers' experiences is an interconnection and intertwining of the themes and from this the essence "multiple loss and unresolved grief" was captured. -- The findings of this qualitative study have implications for nursing education, practice, and research. In the provision of quality family-centered care, nurses can be educated and guided in their interventions by phenomenological research recognizing the importance of the maternal perspective in the experience of living with an adolescent exhibiting suicidal behaviours.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 9023
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 86-89.
Department(s): Nursing, Faculty of
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teenagers--Suicidal behavior; Suicidal behavior; Mothers
Medical Subject Heading: Suicide, Attempted; Adolescent Behavior; Mothers

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