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J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc. 2011 Mar-Apr;17(2):115-23. doi: 10.1177/1078390311401025.

Adolescents' experiences with uxoricide.

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University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of individuals who survived the loss of one or both parents through parental homicide or homicide/suicide as adolescents. Participants (N = 34) were aged between 12 and 19 years at the time of the death and were aged between 29 and 64 years at the time of the interview. Participants were interviewed twice and asked to tell the story of their lives. Data were analyzed in the hermeneutic phenomenological tradition using a stepwise process of developing categories and then a single complex theme. Common categories of participants' childhoods included abuse both before and after the uxoricide and vivid memories of the homicide. As adults, most participants reported difficulties with intimate relationships, legal problems, and substance use. Integrity was an overarching theme for these participants. Among those who had integrated the story of the homicide into their adult lives, some believed that they were doing well whereas others did not. Some participants had isolated the event and considered that they were doing well as a result. These findings are limited by the convenience sample but offer a rich portrait of the lives of individuals who experienced uxoricide as adolescents. Clinicians might be advised to tread carefully if individuals report that they have isolated rather than integrated the uxoricide into their adult lives. No evidence exists in support that either stance is preferable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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