Gena du Bois

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work


This exploratory study was formulated for the purpose of collecting data to define and substantiate the phenomenon of "Grieve out," coined by Dick Obershaw of Burnsville, Minnesota. "Grieve out" will be defined as ...emotional investment...staff invests and never divest of the relationship" upon the death of the resident. The definition of burnout will be discussed as it is not dissimilar to "grieve out." This thesis is based on Doka's theories of disenfranchised grief. Bowlby's attachment and loss theory, and Vachon's occupational stress theory. It is based on these theorists that this work will focus on boundaries. supportive networks, and specific internal and external factors that may contribute to "grieve out." The latter term is distinct and the data was collected from rural and metropolitan social workers in Minnesota. There was at least a fifty percent response rate to this survey for either rural or metropolitan respondents. Data revealed respondents were not required to have knowledge of grief or death issues as a condition for their employment. In addition they did not receive regular professional supervision yet they were expected to assist with the grief process of fellow staff members. Respondents reflected a high affinity for furthering their knowledge base by continued educational forums and expressing a desire for increased information in this area.


SC 11.MSW.1995.Bois.G

Included in

Social Work Commons