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The surviving sisters club: Examining social support and posttraumatic growth among FDNY 9/11 widows

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This paper examines the relationship between social support and posttraumatic growth (PTG) among a sample of 55 widows who lost their firefighter husbands in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Data revealed that 73% gathered informally with other 9/11 widows in the years following the attacks and 55% participated in one-on-one therapy. Results found PTG was related to attending an FDNY-sponsored support group (r = .37), one-on-one therapy (r = .37), and socializing with other FDNY widows (r = .29). Qualitative responses suggested the primary benefits of informal peer support were a shared understanding of grief, close companionship, and emotional strength.
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Keywords: Line-of-duty death; September 11; posttraumatic growth; social support; widowhood

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Management & Management Science Department, Lubin School of Business, Pace University, New York, New York, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2016

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