A grounded theory of how Facebook facilitates continuing bonds with the deceased

DClinPsych Thesis

Sampson, C. 2020. A grounded theory of how Facebook facilitates continuing bonds with the deceased. DClinPsych Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology
AuthorsSampson, C.
TypeDClinPsych Thesis
Qualification nameDoctor of Clinical Psychology

Section A was a literature review which synthesised and critiqued literature around the relationship between continuing bonds and adaptation to bereavement. The review found that evidence of a relationship between continuing bonds and adaptation to bereavement was inconsistent and involved many mediating factors. Implications for clinical practice were that clinicians should review the helpfulness of a continuing bond on an individual basis, keeping these factors in mind. Further research is indicated to more clearly separate the measures of grief and continuing bonds, and an advancement of the research into how bonds are also being continued online.

Section B used grounded theory to analyse data from Facebook pages and interviews with bereaved Facebook users, to explore and propose a theory for how bonds with the deceased were continued through the use of Facebook. A theoretical model was developed suggesting that those who engaged with Facebook following a bereavement, in the context of social support, may be involved in individual and collective processes. These helped to maintain, and even transform, the connection with the deceased. The findings contribute to the literature and provide a framework which could be used by clinicians to bring discussions around Facebook use into their clinical practice.

KeywordsBereavement; Bonds ; Facebook
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Deposited19 Oct 2020
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