The influence of personality type and sense of coherence on coping with bereavement

Waddington, Gavin A. (Gavin Alfred) (2004-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Due to the far-reaching effects of bereavement on the psychological, physical and emotional levels, this study was designed to identify the personality types that are conducive with coping and non-coping characteristics of the bereavement experience. This study examines Jung’s attitudes of Introversion and Extraversion and his functions of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling to determine which are more conducive with coping and non-coping bereavement behaviour. The role that Sense of Coherence plays in the coping and non-coping characteristics in the bereavement process was also examined. Personality type is a construct developed by Carl Jung to explain some of the apparently random differences in human behaviour. Recognising the existence of these types, Jung’s theory provides an explanation of how these types develop. The different types are the result of the different ways in which individuals prefer to use their mind. The Salutogenic approach and Generalised Resistance Resource, developed by Antonovsky, is the building block from which the eventual development of the Sense of Coherence concept is based. Sense of Coherence is comprised of three components namely: comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness. The degree to which these components are presented in one’s life determines an individual’s global orientation to life. The Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (Faschingbauer, Zisook, & De Vaul, 1987), Singer-Loomis Type Deployment Inventory (Singer, Loomis, Kirkhart & Kirkhart, 1996) and the Sense of Coherence scale (Antonovsky, 1987) were completed by twenty-seven individuals (n=27) who recently lost a loved one due to terminal illness or anticipated death. The results of the study were processed and analysed by means of ANOVAS. Because of the small sample size, use was made of the bootstrap method to optimise results. Analysis of the data showed that coping individuals displayed a significant preference for feeling, judging and a high level of sense of coherence, whilst non-coping individuals showed preferences for intuition, perceiving and low level of sense of coherence. No significant difference was found for introversion, extroversion, sensing and thinking.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Weens die verrykende gevolge van die rouproses op die sielkundige, fisiese en emosionele vlakke, is die doel van hierdie studie om die verskillende persoonlikheidstipes te identifiseer wat bevorderlik is vir die hantering van die rouproses. Hierdie studie bestudeer Jung se houding van Introversie en Ekstroversie, asook sy funksies van Waarneming, Intuisie, Denke and Gevoel om vas te stel watter van hierdie houdings en funksies ‘n rol speel in die hantering van die rouproses, al dan nie. Persoonlikheidstipe is ‘n konstruksie wat deur Carl Jung ontwikkel is om van die waarskynlike toevallige verskille in menslike gedrag te verduidelik. Deur erkenning te gee aan die bestaan van hierdie persoonlikheidstipes, verskaf Jung se teorie ‘n verduideliking van hoe hierdie tipes ontwikkel. Die verskillende tipes is die gevolg van verskillende wyse waarop individue verkies om hul verstand te gebruik. Die Salutogeniese benadering en Veralgemeende Weerstandsbron, deur Antonovsky ontwikkel, vorm die bousteen waarop die uiteindelike ontwikkeling van die konsep van Sin vir Koherensie gebaseer is. Sin vir Koherensie bestaan uit drie komponente: verstaanbaarheid, hanteerbaarheid en betekenisvolheid. Die graad waartoe hierdie komponente in ‘n mens se lewe voorkom is die graad waartoe die individu globale oriëntasie vir die lewe openbaar. Die Texas Revised Inventory of Grief (Faschingbauer, Zisook, & De Vaul, 1987), Singer-Loomis Type Deployment Inventory (Singer, Loomis, Kirkhart & Kirkhart, 1996) en die Sense of Coherence Scale (Antonovsky, 1987) is deur sewe-en-twintig individue voltooi (n=27). Slegs individue wie ‘n familielid aan ‘n terminale siekte of verwagte dood verloor het, is ingesluit vir die studie. Die resultate van die studie is geprosesseer en geanaliseer deur middel van ANOVAS. Omdat die monster klein was, is die bootstrap metode gebruik vir optimaal resultate. Analises van data het getoon dat individue wat die rouproses goed hanteer, ‘n betekenisvolle voorkeur het vir gevoel, oordeel en hoë Sin vir Koherensie. Diegene wie se hantering van die rouproses negatief is, toon egter voorkeur vir intuisie, waarneming en ‘n lae Sin vir Koherensie. Geen opvallende verskil is gevind vir introversie, ekstraversie, waarneming en denke.

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