Stress and coping strategies in recently widowed rural black women

Somhlaba, Ncebazakhe Z. (2002-12)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The relationship between stress and coping strategies in bereavement was examined in 70 recently widowed rural black women (mean age 36.53 years). Correlations were sought between coping strategies (as measured by the Coping Strategy Indicator) and anxiety (as measured by the S-scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory), depression (as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory), social support (as measured by the Social Support Scale) and biographical variables. Of the participants, 88.57% were at least mildly depressed, while 78.57% experienced anxiety of above average intensity. Depression scores were significantly higher for those who were unemployed than for those who had paid work. Those with an education of Standard 6 or below made significantly more use of social support-seeking strategies than those with high school and tertiary education. Those whose husbands had died suddenly made more use of problem-solving strategies, while those whose husbands had died of chronic illness made more use of social support-seeking coping strategies. Significant positive correlations were found between an avoidant coping strategy and both depression and anxiety. A significant positive correlation was found between a social support-seeking coping strategy and perceived social support. Significant negative correlations were found between both problem-solving and social support-seeking coping strategies and anxiety as well as depression scores. An avoidant coping strategy emerged as a significant positive predictor of both anxiety and depression, while problem-solving and social support-seeking coping strategies emerged as significant negative predictors of depression. A problem-solving coping strategy alone emerged as a significant negative predictor of anxiety. These findings point to the need for interventions aimed at more effective use of problemsolving and social support-seeking coping strategies, rather than avoidance, if the widowed are to effectively deal with their conjugal loss. Another implication of these findings is the importance of helping those who are undergoing bereavement to continuously re-define their social support structures for continued sustenance of social and emotional support.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die verband tussen stres en hanteringstrategieë is in 'n groep van 70 landelike swart vrouens (gemiddelde ouderdom 36.53 jaar) wat hul eggenote onlangs aan die dood afgestaan het, ondersoek. Korrelasies tussen hanteringstrategieë (gemeet deur die Coping Strategy Indicator) en angs (gemeet deur die S-skaal van die State- Trait Anxiety Inventory), depressie (gemeet deur die Beck Depression Inventory), sosiale ondersteuning (gemeet deur die Social Support Scale) en biografiese veranderlikes is ondersoek. Van die deelnemers was 88.57% minstens tot 'n ligte mate depressief, terwyl 78.57% bogemiddelde angsvlakke ervaar het. Depressietellings van werklose vroue was hoër as van diegene met 'n gesalarieerde werk. Diegene met Standerd 6 opleiding of laer het beduidend meer gebruik gemaak van sosiale ondersteuning-soekende strategieë as diegene met hoërskool en tersiêre opleiding. Diegene wie se eggenote skielik afgesterf het, het meer gebruik gemaak van probleemoplossende hanteringstrategieë terwyl diegene wie se eggenote afgesterf het as gevolg van 'n chroniese siekte, meer gebruik gemaak het van sosiale ondersteuning-soekende hanteringstrategieë. Beduidende positiewe korrelasies is aangetref tussen 'n vermydende hanteringstrategie en beide depressie en angs. 'n Beduidende positiewe korrelasie is aangetref tussen 'n sosiale ondersteuning-soekende hanteringstrategie en waargenome sosiale ondersteuning. Beduidende negatiewe korrelasies is aangetref tussen beide probleem-oplossende en sosiale ondersteuning-soekende hanteringstrategieë en angs sowel as depressie. 'n Vermydende hanteringstrategie was 'n beduidende positiewe voorspeller van beide angs en depressie, terwyl probleem-oplossende en sosiale ondersteuning-soekende hanteringstrategieë beduidende negatiewe voorspellers was van depressie. 'n Probleemoplossende hanteringstrategie was 'n beduidende negatiewe voorspellers van angs. Hierdie bevinding dui op die noodsaaklikheid van intervensies wat gemik is op die meer effektiewe gebruik van probleemoplossende en sosiale ondersteuning-soekende hanteringstrategieë, eerder as vermyding, vir die weduwee om die afsterwe van haar eggenoot effektief te kan hanteer. Nog 'n implikasie van die bevindinge is die belangrikheid daarvan om diegene wat rou te help om voortdurend hul sosiale ondersteuningstrukture te herdefinieer vir voortdurende onderhouding van sosiale en emosionele ondersteuning.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53067
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