Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A chaplain's responsive coaching-based model platform to impart effective coping skills for military personnel who have suffered prenatal or postnatal loss
by Ravelo, Samuel E., D.Min., Regent University, 2014, 250; 3580221
Abstract (Summary)

There are military members stationed all over the world. Unfortunately, for those who are married there are some unique challenges that make their military service extremely difficult. One of those challenges is dealing with the loss of a pregnancy or the loss of a newborn baby when the family is stationed overseas. Where do they go when their hope of having a child is lost? Military members who are stationed overseas sometimes feel as if they have been stranded on an isolated island with no other resource than the couple of goods that were miraculously saved before the shipwreck. Patients relate these sorts of images to the hospital staff when they find themselves in a hospital surrounded by people they deem strangers, who are detached from their loss.

Most people rely on their family when they are facing the most trying times in their lives. In the military setting, people are forced to leave their biological family to join the military family that changes frequently because of constant duty reassignments. One of the biggest challenges overseas military families face is lack of support when they are facing the loss of a pregnancy or the impending death of a newborn child. Some of these mothers find themselves going through this painful experience during their first year on the island. In times like this is when military couples need the support of their family members back home. Every parent interviewed for this project who has experienced a loss while on Okinawa, Japan, made the comment of how lonely he or she felt and how the lack of support made his or her grief even more unbearable. These families need emotional and spiritual support when they are experiencing the coldness and painful grasp of prenatal (before birth) or postnatal (after birth) loss.

In order to provide spiritual and emotional support to these families, the author interviewed sixteen couples in order to learn about how they have been able to cope with their loss. These parents will be called co-researchers in this dissertation because they are the ones imparting knowledge about this topic. They are the experts on this subject because they are the ones who have experienced the loss. These parents graciously shared about the many resources that were most helpful during their loss and which ones were less effective.

The finding of this study also showed that seven out of sixteen families interviewed felt that the hospital staff was very helpful, and they personally felt the parents' loss. The interviews also revealed that one of the most important resources for grieving mothers is their husbands. The study has shown that satisfaction of parents dealing with the loss with the support of their own families after the loss depended on the family dynamics that existed before the loss. Half of the co-investigators cited friends as being some of the most helpful people during their loss.

The study suggested that the role of the chaplain is an important part of their support during the loss. Almost the same amount of parents expressed that their faith and dependence on God—even when they did not understand what was going on—carried them through that difficult part of the journey of life.

In order to conduct the interviews, the Grounded Theory method was applied. The collection of data and its analysis followed the constant comparative method in the tradition of Grounded Theory (explained by Glasser and Strauss).The constant comparative method of analysis clarified the differences and commonalities among the different experiences. The open-minded, semi-structured interviews helped the author learn rewarding details about their experience.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flynn, James
School: Regent University
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 75/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Pastoral Counseling, Military studies
Keywords: Chaplain, Coaching-based, Coping, Loss, Postnatal, Prenatal
Publication Number: 3580221
ISBN: 978-1-303-89292-9
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