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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Margaret Hegge


widow psychology, widower psychology, grief, adjustment


Along with aging there are many losses with the most profound being the death of a spouse. This qualitative study is a replication of a study done by Dr. M. Hegge (1990) who studied coping strategies during the first three years after spousal death in elderly widows(ers) ages 60 years and older. This study focuses on a group 75 years and above during the first four years after spousal death to determine similarities and differences in an older group. The Phases of Grief conceptual framework used for both studies is based on works of Parkes, 1970, 1975; Caplan, 1974; Lamers, 1978, as adapted by Hegge. Data from interviews with 20 older bereaved spouses were analyzed. Many similarities and some differences between younger and older bereaved elderly's coping strategies are discussed; implications for nurses and care givers are related to promote effective coping activities. Recommendations for further research are provided.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Widows -- Psychology
Widowers -- Psychology
Adjustment (Psychology)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1996 Cheryl Fischer. All rights reserved