Date of Award
Open Access Thesis
Master of Social Work (MSW)
Laura Boisen, Ph.D.
Grieving over the death of a loved one is an incredibly painful experience for anyone to endure. Moving through this grief in isolation can make the experience even more devastating. Fortunately, grief support groups have been developed as a way for people to receive the necessary emotional and social support during this difficult time. This study is a direct practice evaluation examining the effectiveness of a grief support group's ability to alleviate a person's level of anger, despair, and social isolation. Those participating in the study included 7 new members of a grief support group who had experienced the death of a loved one. A pre-test and post-test questionnaire was administered to each participant in order to determine whether or not their grief experience changed during their participation in the grief support group. A phone interview was then conducted to identify the specific factors relating to these changes. Although the results of the study were mixed in that participants reported decreases, increases, and no changes in their feelings of anger/hostility, despair, and social isolation over the course of four weeks, most of the participants reported a decrease. Many of the participants attributed this decrease to their participation in the grief support group. This suggests that grief support groups should continue to be utilized by people who are grieving over the death of a loved one in order to obtain some relief from their feelings of anger/hostility, despair, and social isolation.
Anderson, Kristin Lea, "Evaluating a Grief Support Group's Effectiveness in Alleviating a Person's Grief Experience" (1999). Theses and Graduate Projects. 71.