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Publication Date


Document Type



School for Social Work


Terrorism victims' families-Psychology, Bereavement-Psychological aspects, Psychic trauma-Treatment, September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2011-Psychological aspects, September 11, Bereavement, Trauma, Terrorism, Ambivalent loss


Historically, social workers have provided services for individuals affected by trauma and coping with bereavement. Despite the overlap, the topics are typically examined separately. This descriptive study explored the contextual interplay of trauma and grief as experienced by 19 adults bereaved by the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. The research goal was to allow participants to describe their grief, discuss complications related to receiving partial or no physical remains of their loved ones, and assess the effectiveness of social supports. Two unexpected findings evolved regarding the participants' perspective of the government's response and their experience of publicity/media coverage of the event. Participants completed the Texas Revised Inventory of Grief, the Inventory of Social Support, and a four question, semi-structured interview to describe their bereavement. Results indicated that the suddenness, violence, and political repercussions associated with terrorism contributed to a longer than the norm grief.




iv, 150 p. Dissertation (Ph.D.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 118-133)