• Line Helland Nielsen
  • Stephanie Liborius Fønsler
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
Growing up with a parent, who has an alcohol abuse can have significant consequences, this being mental illness and social difficulties. For young people who lose an alcohol abusive parent the grief is complicated and they tend to feel ashamed and guilty. In this thesis we study what meaning feelings of shame and guilt have for young people, who have participated in grief counseling groups at Børn, Unge & Sorg after losing a parent with alcohol abuse. In order to examine this we apply a mixed methods design, with quantitative and qualitative methods. The scientific theory is likewise divided in two parts. In the quantitative part a positivistic approach is used whereas a hermeneutic-phenomenological approach is applied in the qualitative part. Methodologically we work with data from a survey completed by Børn, Unge & Sorg, where young people have responded at the beginning and ending of the special grief counseling group. We examine this data with descriptive statistics and analytical statistics using t-tests. Afterwards we use the information from the quantitative results to produce relevant qualitative interviews with young people, who have lost a parent with an alcohol abuse and therefore have completed the grief counseling. We then analyze and interpret our results from the quantitative and qualitative research using theoretical concepts primarily from labeling theory. The combined results show that young people have feelings of shame and guilt when they lose an alcohol abusive parent, and that these feelings can aggravate their mental state. Likewise it shows that these young people have social difficulties, which are generally a poor mental health, a strained relation to alcohol, a fragile social network as well as feeling alone, different and judged by others. We discuss these results opposite to the existing research on the area and find that our results thereby are verified. The combined results of the thesis indicate that preventive social work is indeed relevant. There is a need of: early social initiatives before the alcohol abusive parent dies, an increased focus on these young people when they are in school and a need of special social interventions after the loss of an alcohol abusive parent.
Publication date1 Jun 2015
Number of pages118
ID: 213401049