Social Readjustment Experience of Military Widows as Single Mothers

순직군인 배우자의 여성한부모로서 사회 재적응 경험

  • Received : 2008.11.03
  • Accepted : 2009.12.10
  • Published : 2009.02.28


This study is to understand, in the view of resilience, the experience of military widows, whose husbands died while on active military duty and have lived as single mothers for a long time. This study using a qualitative research method based on Phenomenology, especially using Colaizzi's process of data analysis. 99 meaningful sentences, 26 themes, and 10 theme clusters has been categorized from the interview of 9 military widows, who has been participated a self-help group for them. The 10 theme clusters are 'denial and grief over the death of spouse', 'ambivalence over the duty of their husbands', 'acceptance of the helpless fate and arduous fight to live', 'sorrow in the social and historical context', 'responsibility and endeavoring of parenting', 'self-existential challenge', 'immanent belief system as a military widow'. 'effort to find self-identity in the outer systems', 'wish to reassure their existence', and 'to find the meaning of life after husband's dead'. These their self respect and feeling of honor have become their belief system in their life, which they have raised their children and take their responsibilities with their best effort. The self-help group has helped them to find their self-identity and has sustained emotionally healthy. This group has been also empowering them through their voices being heard to the outside society. They have made an effort which their existence is recognized by the country and the military system. The findings of this study can be used as a system to gather opinions and to provide information and program which may be accepted politically and then applicable and integrated social work service through the social support system and networking.