Grief and loss in adult-child relationships with parents who have dementia : a literature review and mixed methods study proposal




Wood, Kristie Andrea

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Adult-children of parents with dementia (ACPD) experience considerable levels of grief and risk for corresponding psychological problems. The effects of grief in ACPD on their identity and self- concept are understudied. In this proposed mixed-methods study, ambiguous loss and self psychology frameworks will be utilized. I will conduct semi-structured interviews to explore how the changing parent adult-child relationship affects adult-child identity and self-concept in 12 adult-children of mothers with dementia. Of particular interest, changes in the relationship that are due to the adult-child’s perception of the parent’s psychological absence and diminished empathic attunement will be assessed. Data will be analyzed using grounded theory to identify themes. I will collect quantitative data and use descriptive and correlation analyses to confirm and expand on qualitative insights and further identify links between themes from the interviews.


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