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Petrina Hargrave

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Sudden death: The impact of the immediate aftermath on police officers, victim support workers and bereaved survivors

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Sudden death, whether from homicide, suicide, accident, or natural causes, is distressing for bereaved survivors and the first responders (such as police officers and Victim Support workers) who assist them.  Ms Hargrave’s research shows that much initial and long-term distress results from how these groups interact soon after the death.  The extent to which survivors feel supported by first responders directly affects their immediate distress, which in turn, predicts posttraumatic stress disorder, for both parties, and complicated grief symptoms in the survivors.  These findings may provide insight into the training of first responders, and help therapists identify survivors at risk of grief and trauma disorders. 

Professor Nigel Long
Professor Janet Leathem