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Le veuvage chez les hommes et les femmes âgés, une étude exploratoire des significations et des stratégies adaptatives*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Francine Ducharme
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal
Ellen Corin
Affiliation:
Centre de recherche de l'hôpital Douglas

Abstract

The purpose of this exploratory study was to develop, based on the ethnographic method, a research approach aimed at understanding the experience of widowhood as well as the coping strategies used by elderly men and women facing this experience. Ethnographic interviews were conducted at informants' homes, using a semi-structured format developed from a conceptual framework based on a stress and coping model. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were coded by two independent raters according to the study's conceptual framework and categories generated from the data. Results illustrate that personal factors such as biographical history, centrality of the spouse in personal life and self-efficacy influence the meanings of widowhood and the use of coping strategies; also, contextual factors, namely normative standards and cultural values, seem to have a differential influence on the meanings of widowhood and the coping strategies of widows and widowers. As a coping strategy, seeking social support is related to qualitative characteristics of social resources, more specifically reciprocity and reliability. The research approach developed in this project provides a means to better understand the contextual factors which might explain the great variability of mental health responses of elderly widows and widowers as well as elderly's responses to other stressors in their daily life.

Résumé

L'objectif principal de cette étude exploratoire était de mettre au point, à partir d'un devis qualitatif inspiré de la méthode ethnographique, une approche de recherche facilitant la compréhension de l'expérience du veuvage et le choix des stratégies adaptatives utilisées suite à la perte du conjoint chez les hommes et les femmes âgés. Des entrevues de type ethnographique ont été réalisées au domicile d'informateurs-clés a l'aide d'un guide semi-dirigé élaboré à partir d'un cadre conceptuel inspiré d'un modèle de gestion du stress. Les entrevues ont été enregistrées, le verbatim retranscrit, et les données ont été codées par deux juges indépendants à partir du cadre conceptuel de l'étude ainsi que des nouvelles catégories générées au moment de l'analyse. Les resultats montrent que la signification du veuvage et le choix des stratégies adaptatives sont influencés par des facteurs personnels reliés à la trajectoire de vie, à la centralité du conjoint et à une perception d'auto-efficacité; des facteurs contextuels tels les standards normatifs et les valeurs culturelles qualifient de fagon différentielle le veuvage des hommes et des femmes. Parmi les stratégies adaptatives utilisées, le recours au soutien social paraît tributaire de caractéristiques qualitatives telles la réciprocité et la fiabilité des sources d'aide. L'approche développée dans le cadre de ce projet permet une meilleure compréhension des facteurs contextuels qui expliquent la variabilité des réactions que développent, sur le plan de la santé mentale, les personnes âgées confrontées à la perte de leur conjoint ainsi qu'à d'autres stresseurs de leur vie quotidienne.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 1997

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Le veuvage chez les hommes et les femmes âgés, une étude exploratoire des significations et des stratégies adaptatives*
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