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När livet oväntat förändras: Föräldrars erfarenheter efter spädbarnsdöd, med särskild hänsyn till ritualers funktion. En religionspsykologisk studie.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, The Social Sciences of Religion, Psychology of Religions.
2010 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Parents’ experience after the death of a child through Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), with special attention to the function of rituals. A psychology of religion study
Abstract [en]

The study examines rituals’ psychosocial functions for Swedish parents with experience of SIDS. Focus is on: the parents’ experience of religious rituals such as funerals; private indivudal rituals such as interaction with things belonging to the child; private collective rituals in the Swedish SIDS Society for parents who have lost an infant through SIDS (Spädbarnsfonden); and, informal and formal help support structures.

The study’s mixed methods design has a qualitative approach, with qualitative (semi-structured interview) and quantitative (survey) methods. The qualitative method is central.

Three different points of time are examined. Two are included in the survey. The first relates to the child’s death, where data are collected with a retrospective perspective. The second is the cross-sectional survey in 2002, in which 111 parents participated. The third is the semi-structured interviews in 2008, in which a sub-group of  8 women participated.

The main results show, in the Swedish context, that individual private rituals are important during the first year. These rituals contribute to the parents’ working through the grief process at both intrapersonal and interpersonal levels. The collective, private rituals become more important after some time and are implemented mainly within the family and through the Swedish SIDS Society. Religious rituals are important at the time of the child’s death and serve a marking function of both the parents’ and child’s situations. Over time, attending funerals and visiting the child’s funeral church are important ritual functions for maintaining a symbolic contact with the child as well as for the grief work process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Teologiska institutionen , 2010. , 307 p.
Keyword [en]
rituals, religious rituals, psychosocial functions, unexpected death, parents, children, SIDS, Spädbarnsfonden, liminoid, time, mixed methods design
Keyword [sv]
ritualer, religiösa ritualer, psykosociala funktioner, oväntad död, föräldrar, barn, SIDS, Spädbarnsfonden, liminoid, tid, mixed methods design
National Category
Religious Studies
Research subject
Psychology of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-132866ISBN: 978-91-506-2165-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-132866DiVA: diva2:359844
Public defence
2010-12-10, Universitetshuset sal IX, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 14:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2010-11-17 Created: 2010-10-27 Last updated: 2010-11-17

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Åblad Lundström, Carin
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