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Posttraumatic Growth among Sibling Survivors of Suicide Paula Rymer, MSW, Melinda Moore, MA, & Julie Cerel, PhD University of Kentucky INTRODUCTION A snowball.

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Presentation on theme: "Posttraumatic Growth among Sibling Survivors of Suicide Paula Rymer, MSW, Melinda Moore, MA, & Julie Cerel, PhD University of Kentucky INTRODUCTION A snowball."— Presentation transcript:

1 Posttraumatic Growth among Sibling Survivors of Suicide Paula Rymer, MSW, Melinda Moore, MA, & Julie Cerel, PhD University of Kentucky INTRODUCTION A snowball sampling of survivors utilized a secure website to complete the surveys. The sibling research was a piece of a larger study that looked at all survivor relationships, that surveyed suicide bereavement & Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). Participants complete demographics such as: age, perceived closeness, and length of time since loss. The survey measured PTG, rumination, prolonged grief (PG-13), resilience, positive and negative effect, and personality factors. Open ended questions also asked about negative experiences and perception of what would have been more helpful. 136 participants completed surveys including 38 siblings. A snowball sampling of survivors utilized a secure website to complete the surveys. The sibling research was a piece of a larger study that looked at all survivor relationships, that surveyed suicide bereavement & Post Traumatic Growth (PTG). Participants complete demographics such as: age, perceived closeness, and length of time since loss. The survey measured PTG, rumination, prolonged grief (PG-13), resilience, positive and negative effect, and personality factors. Open ended questions also asked about negative experiences and perception of what would have been more helpful. 136 participants completed surveys including 38 siblings. All suicides have one common factor: They produce survivors…people bereaved by suicide There is a scarce amount of literature in the area of sibling survivors. Sibling Survivors are referred to as “forgotten mourners” (Dyregrov & Dyregrov, 2005). There is evidence that sibling survivors are effected more deeply and longer by the suicide death than siblings that have lost a loved one due to a illness or accident ( Dyregrov & Dyregrov, 2005). For this study, we asked the following questions: How has your life changed regarding your emotional and physical wellbeing ? Have priorities in your life changed and has your siblings suicide brought spiritual value changes? Length of time since death and how have you changed over time? The degree of change that had occurred in the participants life since the suicide had occurred. Experiences that occurred early in grief process that may still be occurring after time. All suicides have one common factor: They produce survivors…people bereaved by suicide There is a scarce amount of literature in the area of sibling survivors. Sibling Survivors are referred to as “forgotten mourners” (Dyregrov & Dyregrov, 2005). There is evidence that sibling survivors are effected more deeply and longer by the suicide death than siblings that have lost a loved one due to a illness or accident ( Dyregrov & Dyregrov, 2005). For this study, we asked the following questions: How has your life changed regarding your emotional and physical wellbeing ? Have priorities in your life changed and has your siblings suicide brought spiritual value changes? Length of time since death and how have you changed over time? The degree of change that had occurred in the participants life since the suicide had occurred. Experiences that occurred early in grief process that may still be occurring after time. DemographicsSiblings (n=38, 89.5% sister) Other Survivors (n=93) Race/Ethnicity White African American Other 100% White93.5% White Perceived Relationship Closeness (5 point scale, 1=closest) 1.32 (+.66)1.21 (+.54) Time since death <5 years 5-9 years; years years 20+ years 60.5%, n= %, n=5 10.5%, n=4 7.9%, n=3 0% 72.0%, n= %, n=11 7.5%, n=7 3.2%, n=3 8.6%, n=8 METHOD SAMPLE RESULTS A)Did you have an interaction with clergy or physician or mental health professional that was not helpful? “I actually saw my priest in my Church once and a few times [talked to] to clergy. As I felt that I needed help to deal with my pain due to my brothers suicide, I still feel that when I left, I was still feeling empty, without answers to my questions on why this happened.” B)What’s the one thing that could have been said to you that would have helped? “with suicide...I feel there can be no answers that could be said to anyone who has had a loss of a loved one. I think its someone that happens, that most don't see it coming. I think the most important they should say, is that its not your fault. A lot of people walk away blaming themselves afterwards, such as.. why didn’t I stop him that night, why didn’t I see he was troubled....After 20 years, I just found out I wasn’t the last one he saw that night..” “I do not think there is anything other than just not doing it that could have made it less painful.” “I'm not sure that there is anything anyone could have said to me then.. I was angry and humiliated and hated the spotlight that was being shined on us (media reports, questions at school, offers of sympathy). I wanted to close down and shut myself off from the world. No one could take away the excruciating pain that I was feeling and I would not open myself up to heal...” A)Did you have an interaction with clergy or physician or mental health professional that was not helpful? “I actually saw my priest in my Church once and a few times [talked to] to clergy. As I felt that I needed help to deal with my pain due to my brothers suicide, I still feel that when I left, I was still feeling empty, without answers to my questions on why this happened.” B)What’s the one thing that could have been said to you that would have helped? “with suicide...I feel there can be no answers that could be said to anyone who has had a loss of a loved one. I think its someone that happens, that most don't see it coming. I think the most important they should say, is that its not your fault. A lot of people walk away blaming themselves afterwards, such as.. why didn’t I stop him that night, why didn’t I see he was troubled....After 20 years, I just found out I wasn’t the last one he saw that night..” “I do not think there is anything other than just not doing it that could have made it less painful.” “I'm not sure that there is anything anyone could have said to me then.. I was angry and humiliated and hated the spotlight that was being shined on us (media reports, questions at school, offers of sympathy). I wanted to close down and shut myself off from the world. No one could take away the excruciating pain that I was feeling and I would not open myself up to heal...” CONCLUSION Limitations: Small sample size, lacking Ethnic diversity Little differences between siblings and others Siblings need to be included in bereavement research as there appears to be little difference between siblings and other relatives Other variables, like perceived closeness to the decedent are probably more important that labeled family relationship. Posttraumatic Growth (PTG; range = 0-126): Overall, range was moderate. Slightly lower (ns) siblings vs. other survivors Prolonged Grief (PG-13; range 13-59; >48 met criteria): ns siblings vs. other Reflective versus Brooding Rumination (subsets of a Rumination Scale with a range of 10-50). Ns siblings vs. other, trend to have slightly lower Reflective. In an analysis of the overall sample, Posttraumatic Growth is negatively correlated with Reflective Rumination, Resilience is correlated with Optimism


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