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Parents grieving the loss of their child: interdependence in coping

Wijngaards-de Meij, Leoniek, Stroebe, Margaret, Schut, Henk, Stroebe, Wolfgang, Bout, Jan, van der Heijden, Peter G.M. and Dijkstra, Iris (2010) Parents grieving the loss of their child: interdependence in coping British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47, (1), pp. 31-42. (doi:10.1348/014466507X216152). (PMID:17588295).

Record type: Article



A longitudinal study was conducted among bereaved parents, to examine the relationship between parents' own and their partners' ways of coping in terms of the constructs loss-orientation and restoration-orientation (coping strategies based on the bereavement-specific Dual Process Model (Stroebe & Schut, 1999)), and psychological adjustment following the death of their child.


219 couples participated at 6, 13 and 20 months post-loss. Use of the Actor Partner Interdependence Model within multi-level regression analyses enabled assessment of both actor as well as partner effects, and permitted differentiating these effects according to the gender of the parent.


Loss-orientation was predictive of negative psychological adjustment, while restoration-orientation was related to better adjustment. Furthermore, high levels of restoration-oriented coping buffered the negative effect of high levels of loss-orientation on depression. In the interpersonal context, results indicated that for men, having a female partner high in restoration-oriented coping was related to positive adjustment.


In coping with the loss of their child, intra-personal as well as interpersonal processes are relevant for the adjustment process of parents after the loss of their child.

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Published date: March 2010
Organisations: Statistical Sciences Research Institute


Local EPrints ID: 344683
ISSN: 0144-6657
PURE UUID: aecae8d3-cd3e-4d56-8178-bbbbc0665707

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Date deposited: 26 Oct 2012 15:14
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:14

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Author: Leoniek Wijngaards-de Meij
Author: Margaret Stroebe
Author: Henk Schut
Author: Wolfgang Stroebe
Author: Jan Bout
Author: Iris Dijkstra

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