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The Hidden Among the HiddenAfrican-American Elder Male Caregivers$
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Helen K. Black, John T. Groce, and Charles E. Harmon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190602321

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190602321.001.0001

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The Strategies of Coping in Suffering and Caregiving

The Strategies of Coping in Suffering and Caregiving

(p.88) Chapter 5 The Strategies of Coping in Suffering and Caregiving
The Hidden Among the Hidden

Helen K. Black

John T. Groce

Charles E. Harmon

Oxford University Press

If an experience is distressful enough to be called suffering, does it truly end, or does residue of the experience continue to assault the person’s wholeness? In this chapter, we offer three themes that that emerged as means to resolve suffering or to protect themselves from experiencing suffering despite distress. They are: (1) having goals, (2) sharing the power of the family story and (3) maintaining friendships with other African-American men. The three themes were often interrelated in men’s accounts. Men interviewed for this research revealed the importance of looking toward the future with hope and plans in hand, keeping previous generations alive through reminiscence and, seeking friendship with other men, particularly during caregiving (Black, 2015; Mattis et al., 2001) and showed older African-American male caregivers to be involved in reciprocal friendships with other men, which one man described as “what keeps me going.”

Keywords:   coping in caregiving, suffering, goals, resources, men’s friendship

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