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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Critical incidents in grieving the death of companion animals Alexander, David Allan


This study examined what bereaved pet owners found particularly helpful and particularly difficult in their grieving process. The Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was used. Eight bereaved pet owners identified 87 helping and 44 hindering categories that formed 12 helping and 7 hindering categories. The following helping categories had the highest participation rate: Social Support, Reminders & Keepsakes, and Calm Final Moments. The most highly endorsed hindering categories were: Guilt, Regret, and Second-Guessing; Hindering Social Responses / Lack of Support and Understanding; and Difficulty Transitioning to Life Without the Animal. Nine credibility-checks were performed to ensure the integrity of the data and the study findings.

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