Year: 2005 Source: Counselling Psychology Review, v.20, no.2, (May 2005), p.18-23 SIEC No: 20080547

This paper reports on a qualitative study of 6 mothers who lost one child & 1 mother who lost two children, over the age of 16, to suicide. Participants were interviewed about important components of their maternal identity, the psychological & social implications of losing their child to suicide & strategies for managing the difficulties associated with this. Participants consistently reported feelings of failure, stigmatisation, & negative distinctiveness. Various strategies were used to manage identity threat, including trying to find an explanation for the suicide that did not implicate themselves as the potential cause & joining groups with others bereaved by suicide. Recommendations are made for psychological interventions that might help mothers manage identity threat. (21 refs.)