1887

n Health SA Gesondheid - Experiences of widowhood and beliefs about the mourning process of the Batswana people : research

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Abstract

The loss of a partner is viewed by most authors as more serious than that of a parent or child, because of the closeness of the relationship between the husband and wife. In the South African context, and among the Batswana people in particular, widowhood is further complicated by their cultural beliefs and customs which may lead to a stressful experience for the widow. The focus of this study was on the Batswana people, the purpose of which was to explore and describe the widow's experience of widowhood as well as the community's beliefs about widowhood and the mourning process. The research was qualitative, explorative and descriptive. Data were collected by indepth interviews with the widows as well as semi-structured interviews with community members. Participants were drawn from the Mafikeng, Lichtenburg and Zeerust area in the North West Province in South Africa. Data analysis was done by open coding as described by Tesch (Creswell, 1994:155). The findings of the widows' experience of widowhood resulted in five major categories summarised as: experience of isolation due to stigmatisation of widowhood; a stressful life due to customs prescribed by society; hopelessness as a result of the loss of a husband; support provided by support systems; and over-responsibility. The community members' beliefs resulted in four major categories, namely: perceptions about the effects of the mourning process; the community's beliefs about the Batswana customs; the need to support the widow; and the mourning process as discrimination against women. Conclusions reached were that the widow is subjected to isolation, stigmatisation and stress whereas the community believes that the widow should follow culture in order to protect herself and the community. Guidelines were formulated for psychiatric nurses to facilitate the development of support mechanisms through which the community can be mobilised to assist the widow during widowhood and the mourning process.

Die verlies aan 'n lewensmaat word oor die algemeen deur outeurs as 'n groter verlies as dié van 'n ouer of 'n kind beskou. Dit word toegeskryf aan die noue verband wat tussen man en vrou bestaan. In die Suid-Afrikaanse konteks, en spesifiek in die Batswana-gemeenskap, word weduweeskap dikwels deur kulturele gelowe en gewoontes gekompliseer, wat tot spanningsvolle ervarings vir die weduwee mag lei. In hierdie studie was die fokus op die Batswanagemeenskap en veral met die oog op twee aspekte, naamlik die weduwee se belewenis van haar weduweeskap en die gemeenskap se oortuigings en gebruike met betrekking tot die rouproses. Die navorsing was kwalitatief, verkennend en beskrywend van aard. Inligting is ingewin deur indiepte onderhoude met die weduwees en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met lede van die gemeenskap. Deelnemers was afkomstig van Mafikeng, Lictenburg en Zeerust in die Noordwes Provinsie in Suid-Afrika. Die inligting is ontleed met behulp van oop kodering soos deur Tesch (Creswell, 1994:155) uiteengesit. Die bevindinge in verband met die weduwee se belewenis van haar weduweeskap kan in vyf hoofkategorieë saamgevat word, naamlik: 'n ervaring van isolering te wyte aan die stigmatisering van weduweeskap; 'n spanningsvolle leefwyse te wyte aan die gemeenskapsgebruike; hulpeloosheid as gevolg van die verlies van die eggenoot; 'n gebrek aan genoegsame ondersteuning deur ondersteuningsisteme; en 'n oordrewe gevoel van verantwoordelikheid. Die oortuigings en gebruike van die gemeenskap kan in vier hoofkategorieë saamgevat word, naamlik persepsies oor die gevolge van die rouproses; oortuigings in verband met die gebruike en tradisies van die Batswana; die noodsaaklikheid van ondersteuning van die weduwee; en die rouproses as diskriminerend teenoor die vrou. Gevolgtrekkings wat gemaak is, dui op die isolering van die weduwee, stigmatisering en spanning. Dit blyk ook dat die weduwee, as gevolg van die gemeenskap se siening en toepassing van gebruike, vind dat sy vereensaam en voel dat daar teen haar gediskrimineer word. Riglyne is vir psigiatriese verpleegkundiges daargestel met die doel om ondersteuningsmeganismes te fasiliteer wat die gemeenskap kan mobiliseer om die weduwee tydens haar weduweeskap en rouproses te ondersteun.

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/content/health/8/4/EJC35280
2003-12-01
2016-12-09
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