Stigmatization and suicide bereavement

Sociology Department, Nassau Community College, Garden City, New York, USA.
Death Studies (Impact Factor: 0.92). 09/2009; 33(7):591-608. DOI: 10.1080/07481180902979973
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With survey data collected primarily from peer support group participants, the authors compared stigmatization responses of 462 parents losing children to suicide with 54 other traumatic death survivors and 24 child natural death survivors. Parents who encountered harmful responses and strained relations with family members and non-kin reported heightened grief difficulties. After controlling for time since the death and whether a child's death was traumatic or not, stigmatization continued to be associated with grief difficulties, depression, and suicidal thinking. Suicide survivors reported little differences in stigmatization from other-traumatic-death survivors, a result consistent with other recent studies, suggesting more convergence between these two populations than divergence.

Download full-text


Available from: William Feigelman, Jul 16, 2015
  • Source
    • "While such inquiry is essential, mental health practitioners likely overlook an equally important domain, namely, any sense of positive change, transformation, or growth that survivors experience. When scholars set out to explore suicide survivors' experiences in an open-ended manner, they found some evidence of posttraumatic growth in this population (Feigelman et al., 2009; Smith et al., 2011). One implication for the profession is a need to inquire about any sense of change or transformation that suicide survivors experience in the aftermath of their loss, and to normalize the concept of growth or other positive sequelae. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study sought to explore the phenomenon of peer counseling in suicide bereavement by addressing the question, what are the lived experiences of suicide survivors who become peer counselors? Participants were 15 individuals bereaved through suicide who had been volunteering with others bereaved in the same manner. This research employed the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach to provide a detailed description of participants' journeys that went from experiencing the suicide of a loved one, to the decision to become a peer counselor, to, finally, providing support to other survivors. The findings suggest that participants understand the provision of peer counseling as a transformative process. Being a peer counselor means actively challenging the silence around suicide by speaking out about suicide-related issues and offering other survivors a safe space to share their stories. The broader implications of these findings for suicide postvention research and clinical practice are addressed.
    OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying 10/2014; 69(2):151-68. DOI:10.2190/OM.69.2.d · 0.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Only with a sample drawn from official death records where a proactive attempt was made to contact all survivors (and not just those who attend support groups), could we ever hope to adequately provide for representativeness. Yet, for now, there is some consistency between our findings and the previous published record, to suggest that the present results are not anomalous (Dyregrov, Nordanger, & Dyregrov, 2003; Feigelman et al., 2008-2009; Murphy, Johnson, Wu, Fan, & Lohan, 2003). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This comparative survey contrasted 571 parents who lost children to various death causes: 48 to drug-related deaths and overdoses, 462 to suicide, 24 to natural death cases, and 37 to mostly accidental death cases. Groups were compared in terms of grief difficulties, mental health problems, posttraumatic stress, and stigmatization. Results did not show any appreciable differences in these respects between the suicide bereaved parents and those losing children to drug-related deaths. However, when the suicide and drug-related death survivors were specifically contrasted against accidental and natural death loss cases, a consistent pattern emerged showing the former group was consistently more troubled by grief and mental health problems than the latter two sub-groups. These differences remained when controls of time since the loss and gender differences were employed as covariates. These findings suggest that the powerful and intense stigma against drug use and mental illness, shared among the public-at-large, imposes challenges in healing of immense proportion for these parents as they find less compassionate responses from their significant others, following their losses.
    OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying 12/2011; 63(4):291-316. DOI:10.2190/OM.63.4.a · 0.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
Show more