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  • Ingham 2016 Same-Sex Partner Loss PURE

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging and Mental Health on 09/04/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13607863.2016.1181712

    Accepted author manuscript, 506 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Same-sex partner bereavement in older women: an interpretative phenomenological analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Aging and Mental Health
Issue number9
Volume21
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)917-925
Publication statusPublished
Early online date9/05/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Objectives: Due to the lack of existing literature, the current research explored experiences of same-sex partner bereavement in women over the age of 60.
Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight women. Transcripts were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Results: Three themes were identified which elaborated the experiences of older women who had lost a same-sex partner: (1) being left alone encapsulated feelings of isolation and exclusion; (2) navigating visibility centred on how homophobia led to a lack of recognition of the women's grief; and (3) finding new places to be authentic related women's need for new relationships in which they could be themselves. The findings indicate that existing models of partner bereavement may provide useful frameworks when seeking to understand the experiences of older women who have lost their same-sex partners.
Conclusion: The findings indicate that in addition to the experiences of partner bereavement noted in research with heterosexual widows, older women who lose same-sex partners may face particular challenges, which can impact upon psychological well-being and adjustment to loss. These challenges appear to result from past and current homophobic and heterosexist attitudes within the UK culture. A range of interventions at individual, group, health service, and societal levels may be beneficial in improving the psychological well-being of older women who lose a same-sex partner.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging and Mental Health on 09/04/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13607863.2016.1181712