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Omega (Westport). 2007;55(1):1-25.

Cultural influences on parental bereavement in Chinese families.

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North Dakota State University, Child Development and Family Science, Fargo 58105-5057, USA.


The purpose of this study was to explore the bereavement experiences of parents who had experienced the death of a child in Chinese families. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 bereaved parents in Macau, China. Narrative accounts of Chinese parents' experience in the loss of a child were explored to understand how their connection to the deceased child and their worldview were influenced by cultural beliefs and values. Study themes related to parental connections with the deceased child included the use of object linking, memorializing acts, and avoidance of traditional funeral processes, with clear patterns of Chinese cultural influence. Additionally, themes related to impacts on parental worldview included use of the concept of fate as a rationale for child loss and influences on religious orientation. The influence of cultural beliefs and background on Chinese parents as they deal with the issue of a child's death was apparent. Further research is needed and will benefit our understanding of parental bereavement in Chinese families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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