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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A multigenerational case study: one resilient family's experience of loss Kraushaar, Brenda Katherine


The purpose of this research study was to capture the experience of a multigenerational, resilient family who had experienced a nonnormative stressor event. A phenomenological case-study approach was utilized as methodology to guide this study. Interviews were held collectively with the entire family and individually with participating family members. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed. The family's story of resilience emerged from this transcript material. In addition, the process of thematic analysis yielded nine main intergenerational themes that helped to explain this family's resilience. They included: 1) Be flexible about communication; 2) Connect with one another; 3) Have access to and accept support; 4) Detach from the experience; 5) Normalize the stressor; 6) Minimize the children's distress; 7) Focus on the positive; 8) Find strength in religion and 9) Find creative ways of coping. Results also indicated a strong multigenerational component to this family's resilience. In addition, resilience was found to be a process made up of both struggle and occasional costs. Findings were compared to relevant professional literature on family resilience, including The Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation developed by McCubbin, McCubbin, Thompson and Thompson in 1995. All of these findings led to a number of implications for counselling practice, as well as for future research.

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