Exploring the Relationship between Homicide Bereavement and Employment: Homicide Survivors Describe the Meaning, Value, and Challenges of Working Following Traumatic Loss

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Citation

Hildreth, Denise, “Exploring the Relationship between Homicide Bereavement and Employment: Homicide Survivors Describe the Meaning, Value, and Challenges of Working Following Traumatic Loss,” Scholar@Simmons, accessed December 4, 2020, https://beatleyweb.simmons.edu/scholar/items/show/153.

Title

Exploring the Relationship between Homicide Bereavement and Employment: Homicide Survivors Describe the Meaning, Value, and Challenges of Working Following Traumatic Loss

Creator

Hildreth, Denise

Date

2016

Description

The homicide of a family member presents survivors with unique grieving challenges that affect all areas of life. There is a growing body of research and practice literature that reflects efforts to describe the multidimensional bereavement experience of homicide survivors, as well as methods to assist and support them. However, a discussion of their employment challenges and needs is largely absent. This qualitative study examined the juxtaposition of homicide bereavement and employment through interviews with 20 individuals, all people of color, bereaved by the homicide of a close family member who were living in Boston and working at the time of the murder. Specifically, this research explored the effect that homicide bereavement has on the survivor’s employment and the influence of employment experiences on the grieving and coping process. The research findings suggest that the homicide of a family member is a devastating, traumatizing, and destabilizing loss, creating physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges that affect one’s ability to function and cope. As an integral part of one’s life, employment was found to be inevitably affected by the participants’ bereavement experiences and new identities as homicide survivors. Relatedly, survivors’ employment experiences, both positive and negative, had an effect on their bereavement process and ability to cope and move forward in the wake of the murder. Furthermore, the findings suggest that having a supportive, flexible, and coping-conducive workplace characterized by patience, empathy, understanding, and sensitivity could serve a stabilizing function, helping survivors cope and effectively maintain employment while grieving. This study has the potential not only to contribute to the growing research, but to inform clinical practice with this population and, perhaps most centrally, shape employment policy and practice around homicide bereavement.

Publisher

Simmons College (Boston, Mass.)

Format

1 PDF (218 Pages)

Language

English

Type

Doctoral Dissertations

Collection