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Acceptance of Spousal Death: The Factor of Time in Bereaved Older Adults' Search for Meaning

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Response to the death of a spouse was examined by focusing on acceptance, which was conceptualized as both a process and an outcome. Grounded theory was applied to analyze the experience of 15 bereaved Hong Kong Chinese older adults. The main theme that emerged was time. Acceptance of spousal death was found to be related to the search for meaning in 2 time-related themes: timing of spousal death and paradoxical time perception. For paradoxical time perception, 2 subthemes were identified: truncation and daily isolation in time. For bereaved older adults, time-related meaning seeking may be best fostered by self-transcendence, (e.g., participation in volunteer work and social activities).
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 2: Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Centre on Behavioral Health, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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