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Y a-t-il restructuration des stratégies adaptatives suite au veuvage? Une étude longitudinale

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 November 2010

Francine Ducharme
Affiliation:
Université de Montréal et Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal
Ellen Corin
Affiliation:
McGill University et Centre de recherche Douglas, Montréal

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in the coping strategies of older persons and the relationship between coping and mental health following widowhood. A subsample of a longitudinal study, composed of 32 subjects aged 65 years and over, was interviewed at home three times within a 24 month interval. These subjects had been widowed for 18 to 23 months at the third data collection period. Standardized questionnaires and ethnographic open-ended interviews were used as data collection methods. Non parametric statistics revealed no significant difference between the use of coping strategies by women before and after widowhood. The only change found for men was a significant increase in the use of formal social support from services after the loss of their partner. Content analysis of qualitative data suggests a pattern in the use of coping strategies following widowhood. Refraining, a cognitive strategy, was the only coping strategy positively associated with the mental health of spouses and widows. There was no significant difference in the strength of this relationship before and after widowhood. Refraining, a cognitive strategy, was the only coping strategy positively associated with the mental health of spouses and widows. There was no significant difference in the strength of this relationship before and after widowhood. These results suggest a stability in the repertoire of coping strategies in spite of the stressfulness of the situation of losing a lifelong partner and give credence, in part, to the notion of trait or style of coping. Results of this study also provide guidance for gerontological intervention.

Résumé

L'objectif de cette étude était de vérifier la nature des changements dans les stratégies adaptatives, ainsi que l'association entre ces stratégies et la santé mentale, suite au veuvage chez les personnes âgées. Un sous-échantillon de 32 sujets de plus de 65 ans, provenant d'une étude longitudinale, a été interviewé à domicile à trois reprises à 24 mois d'intervalle. Conjoints aux deux premiers temps de l'étude, ces sujets avaient acquis le statut de veufs depuis 18 à 23 mois lors du troisième temps de l'étude. La collecte des données s'est effectuée à l'aide de questionnaires standardisés et d'entrevues ouvertes de type ethnographique. Les tests non paramétriques n'ont révélé aucune différence significative quant au choix des stratégies adaptatives suite au veuvage chez les femmes. Seule une augmentation significative du recours au soutien social formel provenant des services a été notée chez les veufs. L'analyse de contenu des données qualitatives suggère une Constance dans l'utilisation des stratégies adaptatives suite à la perte du conjoint. Le recadrage des problèmes, une stratégie cognitive, est la seule stratégie associée positivement à la santé mentale tant chez les conjoints/conjointes que chez les veufs/veuves. Aucune différence significative dans la force de la relation entre ces variables n'est observée suite au veuvage. Les résultats soulignent une certaine stabilité dans le répertoire des stratégies adaptatives en dépit du stress occasionné par la perte du conjoint. Cette Constance sous-tend en partie la notion de trait ou de style dans l'utilisation des stratégies adaptatives et fournit des pistes pour l'intervention gérontologique.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2000

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