SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.35 número1Response to national policy imperatives for nursing education: A Western Cape case study índice de autoresíndice de assuntospesquisa de artigos
Home Pagelista alfabética de periódicos  

Serviços Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • Em processo de indexaçãoCitado por Google
  • Em processo de indexaçãoSimilares em Google



versão On-line ISSN 2223-6279
versão impressa ISSN 0379-8577

Curationis vol.35 no.1 Pretoria Jan. 2012




Grieving experiences amongst adolescents orphaned by AIDS: Analysis from event history calendars



Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae

Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa





Mental health is an essential component of adolescent health and wellbeing. Mental health practitioners assess adolescents' mental health status to identify possible issues that may lead to mental health problems. However, very few of the tools used to assess the mental health status of adolescents include assessment for grieving and coping patterns. The current tools used for assessing an individual's mental health are lengthy and not comprehensive. The purpose of this study was to assess grieving patterns of adolescents orphaned by AIDS and to appraise the usefulness of an event history calendar as an assessment tool for identifying grieving experiences, in order to guide and support these adolescents through the grieving process. One hundred and two adolescents aged 14-18 years, who had been orphaned by AIDS, completed an event history calendar, reviewed it with the researcher and reported their perceptions of it. Thematic analysis of the event history calendar content revealed that it is an effective, time-efficient, adolescent-friendly tool that facilitated identification and discussion of the orphaned adolescents' grieving patterns. Crying, isolation, silence and violent outbursts were the main grieving patterns reported by adolescents orphaned by AIDS. The researcher recommends use of the event history calendar for identification of orphaned adolescents' grieving experiences. Early identification would enable mental health practitioners to support them in order to prevent the occurrence of mental illness due to maladaptive grieving.



“Full text available only in PDF format”




Abebe, T. & Aase, A., 2007, 'Children, AIDS and the politics of orphan care in Ethiopia: The extended family revisited', Social Science and Medicine 64, 2058-2069, viewed 06 August 2010, from        [ Links ]

Adolfsson, A. & Larsson, P., 2010, 'Applicability of general grief theory to Swedish women's experience after early miscarriage, with factor analysis of Bonanno's taxonomy, using the perinatal grief scale', Journal of Medical Science 115(3), 201-209.         [ Links ]

Bowlby, J., 1973, Attachment and loss, Hogarth Press, London.         [ Links ]

Chazan, M., 2002, The kindness of strangers: Adult mentors, urban, youth and the new voluntarism, Jossey-Bass, San Fransisco.         [ Links ]

Colaizzi, P., 1978, 'Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it', in R. Valle & M. King (eds.), Existential-phenomenological alternatives for psychology, pp. 48-79, Oxford University Press, New York.         [ Links ]

Collishaw, S., Maughan, B., Natarajan, L. & Pickles, A., 2010, 'Trends in adolescent emotional problems in England: A comparison of two national cohorts twenty years apart', Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 45(8), 1350-1362.         [ Links ]

Demmer, C., 2004, 'Loss and grief following the death of a patient with AIDS', Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk 40(3), 294-315.         [ Links ]

Desmond, C.J. & Gow, J. (eds.), 2002, The HIV/AIDS epidemic and South Africa's children: Social and economic impacts and interventions, Natal University Press, Pietermaritzburg.         [ Links ]

Economic Commission for Africa, 2004, Impact of HIV/AIDS on gender, orphans and vulnerable children, viewed 24 August 2008, from:        [ Links ]

Fontaine, K.L. & Fletcher, J.S., 2004, Essentials of mental health nursing, Addison Wesley, New York.         [ Links ]

Freud, S., 1917, Mourning and melancholia. In a general selection from the works of Sigmund Freud, Doubleday Anchor Books, New York.         [ Links ]

Gallo, L., 2006, Play therapy for adolescents, Jason Aronston, New York.         [ Links ]

Goodman, R.F., 2002, Art as a component of grief work with children, Guilford Press, New York.         [ Links ]

Harms, S., Jack, S., Ssebunnya, J. & Kizza, R., 2010, 'The orphaning experience: Descriptions from Ugandan youth who have lost parents to HIV/AIDS', Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 4, 6, viewed 25 January 2011, from, PMid:20205893, PMCid:2827392        [ Links ]

Krueger, A.B., 2006, 'Developments in the measurement of subjective well-being', Journal of Economic Perspective 20(4), 3-24.         [ Links ]

Kübler-Ross Foundation, 1998, Children and death, Macmillan, New York.         [ Links ]

Lincoln, Y.S. & Guba, E.G., 1985, Naturalistic inquiry, Sage, Beverly Hills, CA.         [ Links ]

Leavy, D.G., 2005, 'Facilitating communication about death between mothers and adolescents on using fictional children's literature', PhD thesis, Department of Counseling Psychology and Special Education Brigham Young University.         [ Links ]

Lebotse, N.S., 2004, Coping among university students following death of a parent to HIV/AIDS: Proceedings from the psychosocial rehabilitation conference, Accra, Ghana , 16 -18 May, 2004,         [ Links ].

Li, X., Naar-King, S., Barnett, D., Stanton, B., Fang, X. & Thurston C., 2008, 'A developmental psychopathology framework of the needs of children orphaned by HIV', Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 19(2), 147-157, viewed 12 July 2010, from, PMid:18328965, PMCid:2291283        [ Links ]

Lyons, M., 2005, 'The impact of HIV/AIDS on children families and communities: risks and realities of childhood during the HIV epidemic', United Nations Development Programme 32.         [ Links ]

Martyn, K.K. & Belli, R.F., 2002, 'Retrospective data collection using event history calendars', Nursing Research 51, 270-274, viewed 12 July 2010, from, PMid:12131240        [ Links ]

Martyn, K.K., 2005, 'Adolescent health research and clinical assessment using self-administered event history calendars', in Proceedings from the event history calendar and diary methodologies in life research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 10-12 June, 2005.         [ Links ]

Mayeya, J., Chazulwa, P., Mayeya, P., Mbembwe, E., Magolo, S., Kasis, F. & Bowa, A.C., 2004, Mental health assessment policy', International Review of Psychiatry 16(1), 63-72, viewed 06 August 2009, from, PMid:15276939        [ Links ]

Melhem, N.M., 2008, 'Sudden death of a parent may pose mental health risks for children and surviving caregivers', Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 162(5), 403-410.         [ Links ]

Moules, N.J., Simomonson, K., Prins, Mangus, P. & Bell, J.M., 2004, Making room for grief: Walking backwards and living forward', Nursing Inquiry 11(2), 99-107.         [ Links ]

Neimeyer, R.A., 2001, Measurement issues in the study of grief, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.         [ Links ]

Polit, D.F. & Beck, C.T., 2008, Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice' Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.         [ Links ]

Sacks, A.M., 2001, 'A cross-disciplinary approach to the understanding and treatment of the bereaved', Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy 18(2), 217-239.         [ Links ]

Sento-Pelaelo, T., 2005, 'Grieving among children and adolescents', Unpublished Master's dissertation, Department of Career Counselling, University of Botswana.         [ Links ]

Stafford, F.P., 2006, Using calendar diary methodologies in life events research: Proceedings of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Proceedings of the event history calendar conference, Michigan, 15-17 June 2006, Ann Arbor, Michigan.         [ Links ]

Stroebe, M., Stroebe, W. & Schut, H., 2000, Grief and loss, Oxford University Press, New York.         [ Links ]

Stuart, G.W. & Laria, M.T., 2001, Psychiatric mental health nursing, 7th edn., Mosby, New York.         [ Links ]

Tsheko, T.U., 2006, 'Patterns of orphaning in Botswana', Unpublished Master's dissertation, Department of Nursing Education, University of Botswana.         [ Links ]

UNICEF, 2004, 'Africa's orphaned and vulnerable generations: Children affected by AIDS', United Nations International Children's Fund publication information.         [ Links ]

Van Dyk, A., 2003, HIV/AIDS care and counselling: A multidisciplinary approach, 2nd edn., Pearson Education, Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Yi Wen, K. & Gustafson, K., 2004, 'Needs assessment for cancer patients and their families', Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2, 11-18, viewed 03 June 2009, from, PMid:14987334, PMCid:394345        [ Links ]

Yi, C., Lori, J. & Martyn, K., 2008, 'Development of prenatal event history calendar for black women. Journal of Obstetric Gynecology, and Neonatal Nursing 37(4), 464-473, viewed 06 August 2010, from, PMid:15784503        [ Links ]

Zur, O., 2010, Self-disclosure and transparency in psychotherapy and counselling, viewed 15 October 2011, from        [ Links ]



Gloria Thupayagale-Tshweneagae
PO Box 392, UNISA 0003, South Africa

Received: 16 Oct. 2011
Accepted: 29 June 2012
Published: 07 Sept. 2012

Creative Commons License Todo o conteúdo deste periódico, exceto onde está identificado, está licenciado sob uma Licença Creative Commons