Grief Communication and Privacy Rules: Examining the Communication of Individuals Bereaved by the Death of a Family Member
Communication about one’s grief is both essential and complicated. We employ communication privacy management theory to examine how bereaved individuals manage the revelation and concealment of private information about the death of a parent or sibling. In-depth interviews (N = 21) with the bereaved indicate that (a) they conceptualize information surrounding the death and their grief as private, (b) they create rules to govern their private information, and (c) violations of those rules result in turbulence. Specifically, individuals employ selectivity, avoidance, and positivity rules that dictate what and with whom they share. We discuss the implications of our findings on grief communication scholarship, CPM theory, and practical issues for helping bereaved individuals and their loved ones navigate discussions about death and the deceased.
Basinger, Erin D., Erin C. Wehrman, and Kelly G. McAninch. "Grief communication and privacy rules: Examining the communication of individuals bereaved by the death of a family member." Journal of Family Communication 16, no. 4 (2016): 285-302.
Journal of Family Communication