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ERIC Number: ED258116
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Aug-28
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Grief Response Following a Homicide.
Poussaint, Alvin F.
Although grief reactions have been carefully examined, little information is available on the grief response following the murder of a loved one. Impressions of homicide survivors' grief reactions were obtained by the staff of a family support center who treated ten families that had experienced the loss of a family member by homicide. Observations of grief were made using Bowlby's three-phase model of the grief response: protest, despair, and detachment. During the protest phase, homicide survivors experienced the characteristic reactions but, in addition, experienced overwhelming rage which often overshadowed feelings of sadness. They also reported a strong urge to seek revenge. Children in this phase demonstrated similar feelings along with regression and severe school problems. The despair of phase two was often increased for homicide survivors because of demeaning experiences with an indifferent police and criminal justice system. Family members lost faith in government and society, and felt more vulnerable and trusted people less. For homicide survivors in phase three, the detachment process was handicapped, particularly in those cases where the murderer had not been apprehended. Other reports of clinical experiences in the treatment of homicide survivors have documented similar results. These findings suggest that the homicide-trauma stress syndrome is a subject in need of both research and preventive psychiatric interventions. (NRB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A