When a Baby Dies of SIDS: The Parents’ Grief and Search for Reason, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

When a Baby Dies of SIDS

The Parents’ Grief and Search for Reason, 1st Edition

By Karen Martin


326 pages

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pub: 2007-09-15
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The cause of the number-one killer of apparently healthy infants between the ages of one week and one year—Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)—continues to defy science. This cruel mystery intensifies an already painful experience for bereaved parents, who frequently blame themselves for their baby’s death. This book explores how parents grieve, the meanings and casual explanations they attribute to a SIDS death, the effects of their grief on family relationships, and the strategies they use to cope and carry on. Karen Martin’s grounded theory study describes in detail the experiences of mothers and fathers whose babies died of SIDS ranging from less than one to over twenty-five years after the baby’s death. Her work makes an important contribution to health fields and to the social science of medicine, and is a critical resource for family doctors, public health nurses, counsellors, ministers, and all those working with grieving parents.


"I could barely put down the book.When a Baby Dies of SIDS will be required reading in my research classes as a model of bravery, clarity, comprehensiveness, and interpretive methods..Martin is an accomplished writer and researcher, and her study is an exemplar for others contemplating a qualitative research project..In my years as academic supervisor of interpretive theses and dissertations, I have longed for a research study that describes to the reader how all-encompassing and personally painful qualitative research can be. The immersion of the researcher in the lives of people who are suffering is inherently distressing, but I rarely see this hurt discussed in academic literature. " -Qualitative Health Research

About the Series

International Institute for Qualitative Methodology Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General