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‘Torn Apart’: Involuntary Separation and the Search for Connection
Willow C. Glasier (author)Mihaela Launeanu (thesis supervisor)Janelle Kwee (second reader)Nancy Sidell (external examiner)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Placing a loved one in care does not relieve informal caregivers’ physical and emotional stresses, yet the experience of caregivers during the long process of separation has not been fully explored, especially in Canada. This study sought to identify the social processes of involuntary separation for caregiving spouses. Participants were 17 spouse-caregivers who had been involuntarily separated for an average of 20 months. All participants lived in Southern Alberta. Data were comprised of 12 individual interviews and one focus group. Using Charmaz’s (2006) model of grounded theory, this study found that the basic social process of spouse-caregiver involuntary separation was connecting, which had three distinct stages: 1) Initial news and coping, 2) Adjusting to new situation, and 3) Moving forward. There were four additional categories: 1) Adjustment to separation, 2) Significant Helping Roles, 3) Family, and 4) Social world. Movement through the three stages was influenced by reciprocal connections.
Involuntary separation.Caregivers.Grounded theory.Developmental psychology.Stress, Psychological.