Parental Grief Study

Date 05/10/2021



Dear Sir or Madam:

You are invited to participate in a study on older parents who lost their only child or all children. The study is being conducted by Yongqiang Zheng, PhD., Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at George Fox University. If you are a parent who experienced the death of a only child or all children and you are over age 50, you fit the participant criteria of the study. Approximately 200 participants will be invited to the study.

The purpose of this study is to examine the influential factors on parental grief and the relationship between those factors based upon a theoretical model. 

In this study, you will be asked to complete a survey to evaluate your attachment style, coping style, social support and spirituality. Approximately 40 minutes will be needed for each participant to finish the whole survey. 

There are minimal risks associated with particular questions in the survey. Those risks are related to the memory of the decreased child. Any participant may decline to answer any questions that may make them uncomfortable at anytime during the survey.

The outcome of this study will help the world to better understand older bereaved parents and their unique grief experiences. This knowledge is a critical part in providing necessary medical, psychological and social support they need. Additionally, the possible benefits include building new professional intervention for older bereaved parents in the future. The information collected may not benefit you directly. The information learned in this study may be helpful to others.

You will not be compensated for your time, inconvenience, or expenses while you are in this study.

Your privacy will be protected to the extent permitted by law. If the results from this study are published, your name will not be made public. All data of the survey will be secured in locked file at School of Social Work, George Fox University. All date on computer will encrypted. If the study results are published, no names or identifying data will be revealed. 

Taking part in this study is voluntary. You may choose not to take part at all. If you decide to be in this study, you may stop taking part at any time. If you decide not to be in this study or if you stop taking part at any time, you will not lose any benefits for which you may qualify.

If you have any concerns or complaints about the study or the study staff, you may contact the principal investigator at (503) 554-6079 or yzheng@georgefox.edu

If you have any questions about your rights as a study subject, questions, concerns or complaints, you may discuss any questions about your rights as a subject, in secret, with a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at George Fox University. The IRB is an independent committee composed of members of the University community, staff of the institutions, as well as lay members of the community not connected with these institutions. The IRB has reviewed this study.

 
By continuing to the next step, you consent to participate. 

Sincerely,

Yongqiang Zheng

A quantitative survey may not catch some aspects of the grief that bereaved parents are experiencing, if you would like to provide some narrative information, you can choose to do so at the end of this survey.

GFU Institutional Review Boards

IRB NUMBER: 2202042

IRB APPROVAL DATE: 04/13/2021

 

*1.
Your gender
2.
What is your age (in years)?
3.
For how many years your child has been dead? (If you lost multiple children, separate the years with / )
*4.
Was the deceased child your only one?
*5.
How did your child die?
*6.
Please read each of the following statements and rate the extent to which you believe each statement best describes your feelings about close relationships.
Not at all like me2Somewhat like me4Very much like me
(1) I find it difficult to depend on other people.
(2) It is very important to me to feel independent.
(3) I find it easy to get emotionally close to others.
(4) I want to merge completely with another person.
(5) I worry that I will be hurt if I allow myself to become too close to others.
(6) I am comfortable without close emotional relationships.
(7) I am not sure that I can always depend on others to be there when I need them.
(8) I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others.
(9) I worry about being alone.
Not at all like me2Somewhat like me4Very much like me
(10) I am comfortable depending on other people.
(11) I often worry that romantic partners don't really love me.
(12) I find it difficult to trust others completely.
(13) I worry about others getting too close to me.
(14) I want emotionally close relationships.
(15) I am comfortable having other people depend on me.
(16) I worry that others don't value me as much as I value them.
(17) People are never there when you need them.
(18) My desire to merge completely sometimes scares people away.
(19) It is very important to me to feel self-sufficient.
Not at all like me2Somewhat like me4Very much like me
(20) I am nervous when anyone gets too close to me.
(21) I often worry that romantic partners won't want to stay with me.
(22) I prefer not to have other people depend on me.
(23) I worry about being abandoned.
(24) I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others.
(25) I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like.
(26) I prefer not to depend on others.
(27) I know that others will be there when I need them.
(28) I worry about having others not accept me.
(29) Romantic partners often want me to be closer than I feel comfortable being.
(30) I find it relatively easy to get close to others.
*7.
These items deal with ways you've been coping with the stress in your life. There are many ways to try to deal with problems. These items ask what you've been doing to cope with this one. Obviously, different people deal with things in different ways, but I'm interested in how you've tried to deal with it. Each item says something about a particular way of coping. I want to know to what extent you've been doing what the item says. How much or how frequently. Don't answer on the basis of whether it seems to be working or not—just whether or not you're doing it. Use these response choices. Try to rate each item separately in your mind from the others. Make your answers as true FOR YOU as you can.
I haven't been doing this at allI've been doing this a little bitI've been doing this a medium amountI've been doing this a lot
(1) I've been turning to work or other activities to take my mind off things.
(2) I've been concentrating my efforts on doing something about the situation I'm in.
(3) I've been saying to myself "this isn't real.".
(4) I've been using alcohol or other drugs to make myself feel better.
(5) I've been getting emotional support from others.
(6) I've been giving up trying to deal with it.
(7) I've been taking action to try to make the situation better.
(8) I've been refusing to believe that it has happened.
(9) I've been saying things to let my unpleasant feelings escape.
I haven't been doing this at allI've been doing this a little bitI've been doing this a medium amountI've been doing this a lot
(10) I've been getting help and advice from other people.
(11) I've been using alcohol or other drugs to help me get through it.
(12) I've been trying to see it in a different light, to make it seem more positive.
(13) I've been criticizing myself.
(14) I've been trying to come up with a strategy about what to do.
(15) I've been getting comfort and understanding from someone.
(16) I've been giving up the attempt to cope.
(17) I've been looking for something good in what is happening.
(18) I've been making jokes about it.
(19) I've been doing something to think about it less, such as going to movies, watching TV, reading, daydreaming, sleeping, or shopping.
I haven't been doing this at allI've been doing this a little bitI've been doing this a medium amountI've been doing this a lot
(20) I've been accepting the reality of the fact that it has happened.
(21) I've been expressing my negative feelings.
(22) I've been trying to find comfort in my religion or spiritual beliefs.
(23) I've been trying to get advice or help from other people about what to do.
(24) I've been learning to live with it.
(25) I've been thinking hard about what steps to take.
(26) I've been blaming myself for things that happened.
(27) I've been praying or meditating.
(28) I've been making fun of the situation.
*8.
We are interested in how you feel about the following statements. Read each statement carefully. Indicate how you feel about each statement.
Very Strongly DisagreeStrongly DisagreeMildly DisagreeNeutralMildly AgreeStrongly AgreeVery Strongly Agree
(1) There is a special person who is around when I am in need.
(2) There is a special person with whom I can share joys and sorrows.
(3) My family really tries to help me.
(4) I get the emotional help & support I need from my family.
(5) I have a special person who is a real source of comfort to me.
(6) My friends really try to help me.
(7) I can count on my friends when things go wrong.
(8) I can talk about my problems with my family.
(9) I have friends with whom I can share my joys and sorrows.
(10) There is a special person in my life who cares about my feelings.
(11) My family is willing to help me make decisions.
(12) I can talk about my problems with my friends.
*9.
The list that follows includes items you may or may not experience. Please consider how often you directly have this experience, and try to disregard whether you feel you should or should not have these experiences. A number of items use the word ‘God.’ If this word is not a comfortable one for you, please substitute another word that calls to mind the divine or holy for you.
Many times a dayEvery dayMost daysSome daysOnce in a whileNever
(1) I feel God's presence.
(2) I experience a connection to all of life.
(3) During worship, or at other times when connecting with God, I feel joy which lifts me out of my daily concerns.
(4) I find strength in my religion or spirituality.
(5) I find comfort in my religion or spirituality.
(6) I feel deep inner peace or harmony.
(7) I ask for God's help in the midst of daily activities.
(8) I feel guided by God in the midst of daily activities.
(9) I feel God's love for me, directly.
(10) I feel God's love for me, through others.
(11) I am spiritually touched by the beauty of creation.
(12) I feel thankful for my blessings.
(13) I feel a selfless caring for others.
(14) I accept others even when they do things I think are wrong.
(15) I desire to be closer to God or in union with the divine.
*10.
Please tell us
Not at allSomewhat closeVery closeAs close as possible
In general, how close do you feel to God?
*11.
PART I INSTRUCTIONS: FOR EACH ITEM, PLACE A CHECK MARK TO INDICATE YOUR ANSWER.
Not at allAt least onceAt least once a weekAt least once a daySeveral times a day
(1) In the past month, how often have you felt yourself longing or yearning for the person you lost?
(2) In the past month, how often have you had intense feelings of emotional pain, sorrow, or pangs of grief related to the lost relationship?
(3) In the past month, how often have you tried to avoid reminders that the person you lost is gone?
(4) In the past month, how often have you felt stunned, shocked, or dazed by your loss?
*12.
PART II INSTRUCTIONS: FOR EACH ITEM, PLEASE INDICATE HOW YOU CURRENTLY FEEL. PLACE A CHECK MARK TO INDICATE YOUR ANSWER.
Not at allSlightlySomewhatQuite a bitOverwhelmingly
(5) Do you feel confused about your role in life or feel like you don’t know who you are (i.e., feeling that a part of yourself has died)?
(6) Have you had trouble accepting the loss?
(7) Has it been hard for you to trust others since your loss?
(8) Do you feel bitter over your loss?
(9) Do you feel that moving on (e.g., making new friends, pursuing new interests) would be difficult for you now?
(10) Do you feel emotionally numb since your loss?
(11) Do you feel that life is unfulfilling, empty, or meaningless since your loss?
*13.
PART III INSTRUCTIONS: FOR EACH ITEM, PLACE A CHECK MARK TO INDICATE YOUR ANSWER.
YesNo
(12) For questions (1) or (2) above, have you experienced either of these symptoms at least daily and after 6 months have elapsed since the loss?
(13) Have you experienced a significant reduction in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g., domestic responsibilities)?
14.
A quantitative survey may not catch some aspects of the grief that bereaved parents are experiencing, if you would like to provide some narrative information, you are encouraged to upload a document addressing the following questions or by emailing it the researcher at yzheng@georgefox.edu.
Q1. Tell me about your grief experiences.
Q2. What is the most profound difference in your life, since you have lost your only child or all your children?
Q3. In your experiences, what makes coping with grief easier and what makes it harder?
Q4. From a policy perspective, what is needed to support older bereaved parents in our society?
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