Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This research study was conducted to clarify the impact of the experienced homicide of a family member on mothering, post-homicide. Data was gathered regarding mothers' use and perception of community support services and providers' perception of the efficacy of those services currently available to surviving family members. Potential alternatives to already-existing services and modes of delivering these services to families impacted by violence were explored. In this dual-perspective flexible methods study, seven mother-participants and four community providers – comprised of three victim/witness advocates, who currently work in Massachusetts Court-based District Attorney's offices and one licensed independent clinical social worker, who has provided direct care services to individuals and families impacted by homicide – were interviewed independent of one another either by telephone or in person. Participants were asked specific questions and were invited to clarify information important to this investigator's understanding of their life experience and/or work. Findings of this study provided clear positive correlation between challenging mother-child dynamics and the experience of a homicide in the family. A majority of the eleven participants (from each group-set) suggested the development of a nationally-based foundation to better collaborate systems of response for individuals and families.


iii, 87 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 75-77).