Breaking the silence: parentally suicide-bereaved youths’ self-disclosure on the internet and the social responses of others related to stigma
2017 (English)In: Journal of Youth Studies, ISSN 1367-6261, E-ISSN 1469-9680, Vol. 49, no 5, 1-6 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
‘Suicide stigma’ contributes to the silencing of parental suicide within family and social networks. This article departs from a narrative theoretical framework on grief and identity to analyse suicide-bereaved youths ‘breaking the silence’ through self-disclosure in self-initiated chat threads on the Internet, which is their way of actively seeking social support, telling of their experiences and opening up space for a renegotiation of the meanings around suicide. The article investigates which narrative frameworks for the interpretation of suicide are operating in these contexts, and whether and, if so, how stigma is reproduced or counteracted. Two frameworks are identified: ‘Who is to blame for suicide?’; and ‘What caused the suicide?’. The former is utilized by the newly bereaved chat-initiators, who attribute blame for suicide to the parent and/or themselves in accordance with stigmatizing discourses. These are reproduced in the responses first and foremost of the non-suicide-bereaved, who construct a dichotomy between the deceased parent as ‘perpetrator’ and the child as ‘victim’ in order to relieve blame. A lack of contact with other suicide-bereaved youths can reinforce feelings of otherness. Identities, however, can potentially be de-stigmatized by the meanings drawn from the latter framework.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017. Vol. 49, no 5, 1-6 p.
Stigma, identity, suicide, youth, internet
Social Work Psychiatry Social Psychology Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136154DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2017.1307330OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136154DiVA: diva2:1086033