Southern Communication Journal
This study examines bereaved parents' experiences of supportive and unsupportive communication using the optimal matching model of stress and social support (Cutrona & Russell, 1990). Analysis of the interviews revealed that parents described action-facilitating support as supportive, although information-giving was experienced as unsupportive. Regarding nurturant support, bereaved parents felt emotionally supported when family and friends were willing to talk about their deceased child. Parents also described network support as helping them cope with their grief. The results of this study indicate that listening, being present, and honoring the ongoing connection parents have with their deceased child are key ways in which family and friends can communicate support to parents during a difficult and painful time.
Toller, Paige W., "Bereaved Parents' Experiences of Supportive and Unsupportive Communication" (2011). Communication Faculty Publications. 72.