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Death Studies

Carolina Stopinski Padoan, Taiane de Azevedo Cardoso, Murilo Martini, Clarisse de Azambuja Farias, Julia Camargo Contessa, Pedro Vieira da Silva Magalhães
Trauma pathology is not only a sum of risk factors, but emerges as a result of complex causal interaction. The case presented here illustrates the pathway from suicide exposure to the development of fully-fledged treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), demonstrating how recognized risk factors can act in tandem to generate a difficult to treat syndrome. From a clinical perspective, bottom-up approaches that take into account real coping experiences of people bereaved by suicide are more effective to facilitate recovery and prevent adverse outcomes...
February 12, 2019: Death Studies
Rabah Halabi, Gabriel Horenczyk
Most of the literature on reincarnation among the Druze attempts to shed light on its history and on those who believe in it. In this paper, we will argue that the Druze's belief in reincarnation serves as one of the central components in defining their ethno-religious identity. Our study is based on an analysis of 30 semi-structured interviews with Israeli Druze university students. Findings suggest that the belief in reincarnation plays an important role in the lives of the Druze and it appears to serve as the most outstanding component in the young Druze' definition of their primordial identity...
February 12, 2019: Death Studies
Lewis Germain, Ian Sabroe
Between the years 1500 and 1700, mortality was higher and exposure to death is greater than in the modern day. Through analysis of primary texts from the chosen period, we explored the principles behind the care of the dying in the context of medicine, spirituality, and society. Results showed that a "holy death" was a cultural norm and medicine was subsidiary: hope was for the salvation of the soul, not the body. This was part of an approach that focused on symptom relief, irrespective of disease classification, demonstrating an early holistic approach to death and dying...
February 1, 2019: Death Studies
Heidi Hjelmeland, Birthe Loa Knizek
The Interpersonal Theory of Suicide currently seems to be the most popular theory in suicidology. It posits that suicide can be explained by the simultaneous presence of three risk factors only, namely acquired capability for suicide, thwarted belongingness, and perceived burdensomeness. Suicide is, however, widely accepted as a complex, multifactorial, and contextual phenomenon. It is, therefore, surprising that a theory comprised by three internal factors only is so uncritically embraced by suicide researchers...
January 29, 2019: Death Studies
Minja Milovanovic, Ashley Ringane, Daphney Maphakula, Floyd Makete, Mbali Nkuta, Tanvier Omar, Neil Martinson, Limakatso Lebina
Funeral services sector personnel are at risk of contracting infectious diseases and have poor adherence to universal safety precautions. More work needs to be done to understand this industry; however, there is limited information on conducting research within this sector. This manuscript draws on experiences and observations of funeral services study describing lessons learned in the field, particularly emphasizing attempts to engage funeral homes in research and the impact of this work on the research team...
January 21, 2019: Death Studies
Benjamin Marton, Teresa Kilbane, Holly Nelson-Becker
This article explores the psychological distress of Animal Care Workers (ACWs), and the disenfranchisement of this distress through mixed methods study conducted as an online survey. In all, 139 participants responded about their experiences as an ACW, related psychological distress, and the systemic disenfranchisement of distress. Findings indicate that nearly half of ACWs experienced symptoms of depression in the previous month. Over 66% indicated it was difficult to cope. Limited support often resulted in a disenfranchized loss...
January 18, 2019: Death Studies
Ines Testoni, Lucia Ronconi, Illene Noppe Cupit, Elisa Nodari, Guidalberto Bormolini, Annagiulia Ghinassi, Deborah Messeri, Claudia Cordioli, Adriano Zamperini
This study describes the psychological effects of death education in reducing the fear of death in a large cohort of Italian adolescents. Following the constructs of "distal defenses" and "mortality salience" of Terror Management Theory, this research intervention also evaluated the proposition that spirituality and belief in an afterlife could provide an effective buffer against fear of death. Five hundred thirty-four Italian high school students participated in a school-based death education program with an experimental group and a nonrandomized control condition...
January 18, 2019: Death Studies
Myfanwy Maple, Rebecca Sanford
The impact of exposure to suicide death or attempt remains ill-understood. This article aims to investigate this impact among 3010 community residing Australian adults. An online survey investigated the burden of exposure to suicide, psychological distress, and predictors of distress. The following variables were most significant in predicting distress among those exposed to suicide death: perceived impact of the most impactful death, non-kin relationship to the deceased, number of close suicide attempt exposures, time since the most impactful death, and frequency of contact...
January 17, 2019: Death Studies
Suqin Tang, Amy Y M Chow, Lauren J Breen, Holly G Prigerson
This study investigates Chinese people's opinions about the diagnosis of grief and the factors associated with their opinions. Among 1041 participants who completed the online survey, over half (56.5%) agreed that grief could be a mental disorder under certain circumstances, such as harm to self or others, functional impairment, and persistent grief. Primary reasons against the diagnosis were that grief is normal and its intensity decreases over time. A small proportion of opponents also expressed concerns about stigmatization resulting from labeling grief as being pathological...
January 17, 2019: Death Studies
Lindsay M Howard, Kristin E Heron, Robert J Cramer
This study assessed the unique explanatory power of denial of disordered eating in understanding non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidality. Undergraduate women (N = 360) completed an online survey about NSSI, suicide risk, disordered eating behaviors, and denial of disordered eating. Denial of disordered eating was associated with NSSI and suicidality above and beyond engagement in disordered eating alone and demographic covariates. This study provided support that denial of disordered eating behaviors assists in understanding risk for NSSI and suicidality...
January 10, 2019: Death Studies
Stacey Pitsillides
This paper explores how theories of things can create new forms of agency for the dead. It considers how meaning is constructed through the use or translation of our diverse collections and environments online. These memorials and rituals offer a plurality of narratives, experiences and esthetics, which have the potential to give a wider scope for constructing a durable biography after death. The paper draws conceptual links between digital and physical materials and aims to expand interdisciplinary discourse around the way design can create new forms of legacy through rethinking the role of digital things in our lives...
January 10, 2019: Death Studies
Melissa A Smigelsky, Jamison S Bottomley, George Relyea, Robert A Neimeyer
Previous research examining the interrelationship between attachment, relationship quality, and bereavement outcomes suffers from a lack of precision and sophistication in the measurement of the core constructs of interest. The present study adapted an existing measure of attachment and employed a novel instrument of relationship quality to examine specific attachment to and relationship quality with the deceased as contributors to grief symptom severity. A sample of 385 bereaved college students completed measures retrospectively assessing relationship quality, attachment to the deceased, and grief symptomatology...
January 9, 2019: Death Studies
Luke van Ryn, James Meese, Michael Arnold, Bjorn Nansen, Martin Gibbs, Tamara Kohn
A growing number of companies are offering digital products and services for use in funerals. Drawing on interdisciplinary research in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, we explore how funeral directors operate as intermediaries for these digital products and services. We critically examine the popular framing of the funeral industry as a "conservative" business and examine how funeral directors actively mediate between their clients and the companies offering innovative products and services...
January 9, 2019: Death Studies
Anna C Muriel, Cynthia W Moore, Marguerite Beiser, Elyse R Park, Christopher T Lim, Paula Rauch
Legacy may play an important role in how children integrate the loss of a parent. Sixteen adults (19-40 years old, 69% women) who experienced the death of a parent from an illness before age 12 were interviewed, exploring legacies from their deceased parent. Transcribed interviews were iteratively analyzed by three independent coders. Extracted themes described their experiences and wish for remembrances and specific communication left for them, information about the parent's values and feelings about them, and personal possessions...
January 9, 2019: Death Studies
Jang-Won Seo
The present study aimed to validate a Korean version of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire in a college student sample. Three hundred and one students completed the scale and other measures of suicidal ideation, loneliness, interpersonal support, responsibility to family, meaning in life, fearlessness about death, anxiety and depression. Results revealed that the scale has two-factor structure (thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness) and it also has good internal consistency, convergent validity and discriminant validity...
January 9, 2019: Death Studies
Kathleen M Cumiskey, Larissa Hjorth
Mobile and social media have progressively become vessels for manifesting death and dying in our everyday lives. This article investigates the visual nature of social mobile media as "affective witnessing" by analyzing mobile media use during the 12th June 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando Florida (USA). How mobile media serve as witnesses and companions in this tragedy is demonstrated through analyzing first-person accounts, police body cam footage, 911 transcripts and online social media posts...
December 31, 2018: Death Studies
Hannah Gould, Tamara Kohn, Martin Gibbs
Domestic Buddhist altars have long provided symbolically and materially rich media for venerating the dead in Japan. However, as Japanese household structures and funerary rites are unsettled in the contemporary era, Buddhist altars (butsudan) are rapidly being reinvented and digitalized. In this article, we describe the new technologies harnessed in butsudan production, the sensory experiences they offer, and their abilities to both reform and reinforce traditional networks of ancestral obligation. Despite promising death rituals that are more personal, secular, and affordable, the development of digitally enhanced material memorialization is still very much a work in progress in Japan...
December 31, 2018: Death Studies
Ela Koren, Amit Shrira, Ehud Bodner, Yoav S Bergman
We examined whether subjective nearness-to-death is associated with negative attitudes toward people with disabilities, and whether attachment patterns moderate this connection. A total of 462 Israeli adults, average age 57 years, completed scales measuring subjective nearness-to-death, negative attitudes toward people with disability, and attachment patterns. High levels of subjective nearness-to-death were associated with negative attitudes toward people with disability, and attachment patterns were significant moderators...
December 31, 2018: Death Studies
Alexander J Karkar, Lisa M Burke
This study investigated whether the 30 prompted categories of Gillies, Neimeyer, and Milman's (2014) Meaning of Loss Codebook (MLC) emerged in the unprompted and naturalistic blogs of four grieving widows. Furthermore, the study aimed to examine how such meanings emerged through each participant's processes of narrativization. Results showed that 26 of 30 MLC meanings emerged over 582 posts. Furthermore, in blogs demonstrating continued bonds with the deceased, MLC meanings formed networks integrated within narrative pathways...
December 21, 2018: Death Studies
Lisa M Moyer, Suzanne Enck
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr provide users a metaphorical space to share their feelings and experiences with others, including on the topics of grief and loss. The purpose of the current study was to examine why people post grief messages on Facebook and how they feel about others' grief posts. Findings showed that participants post about their grief and loss on Facebook to commemorate the dead, express their grief, connect with others, and remember special occasions...
December 20, 2018: Death Studies
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