The Influence of Spirituality, Race/Ethnicity and Religion on Parent Grief and Mental Health at one month and three months after their Infant's/Child's death in the Neonatal or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Spirituality, Parent Grief and Mental Health, Infant's/Child's death
Date of Defense
The death of an infant/child is one of the most devastating experiences for parents and immediately throws them into crisis. Spiritual and religious coping strategies may help parents with their loss. The purposes of this longitudinal study were to: 1) describe differences in bereaved parents’ use of spiritual coping strategies across racial/ethnic and religious groups, mother/father dyads, and time – one (T1) and three (T2) months after the infant’s/child’s death in the neonatal (NICU) or pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and 2) test the relationship between spiritual coping strategies and grief, mental health, and personal growth for mothers and fathers at T1 and T2. A sample of 126 Hispanic, Black/African American, and White parents of 119 deceased children completed the Spiritual Coping Strategies scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, Impact of Events-Revised, Hogan Grief Reaction Checklist, and a demographic form at T1 and T2. Controlling for race and religion, spiritual coping was a strong predictor of lower grief, better mental health, and greater personal growth for mothers at T1 and T2 and lower grief for fathers at T1. The findings of this study will guide bereaved parents to effective strategies to help them cope with their early grief.
Hawthorne, Dawn M., "The Influence of Spirituality, Race/Ethnicity and Religion on Parent Grief and Mental Health at one month and three months after their Infant's/Child's death in the Neonatal or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit" (2012). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 591.